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Knicks a big TV hit

Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points on opening day,

Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points on opening day, putting him in some special company. (Dec. 25, 2011) Credit: Errol Anderson

And who says NBA regular season games don't do anything ratings-wise on television?

The Knicks proved to be a ratings hit on Christmas day as 5.9 million people tuned into the their game against the Celtics at the Garden. It was the most viewed Christmas Day game in cable history, according to Nielsen.

It was up 46 percent in viewers (4.0 million) and 48 percent in fast national ratings (4.0 vs. 2.7) over last year’s Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks game (ESPN). The game ranks as the fourth most watched regular season game in cable television history.

Viewers who tuned in got a treat as Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points, including 17 in the fourth, of the Knicks 106-104 win over Boston.

The rest of the NBA also fared well on Christmas day. Here’s a release from the league on Sunday’s ratings:

ABC presented its second most-viewed Christmas Day doubleheader (9.9 million viewers) featuring its third most-viewed regular season game ever as 11 million viewers tuned to watch the Chicago Bulls edge the Los Angeles Lakers, 88-87. The network tipped off its season earlier in the day with the Miami Heat defeating Dallas Mavericks 105-94, delivering 9 million viewers, up three percent, and a 4.9 fast national rating, up seven percent (4.6) over last year’s Boston Celtics-Orlando Magic game.

ESPN capped off the Christmas Day action when the network nearly doubled its audience, including Los Angeles Clippers vs. the Golden State Warriors, which became ESPN’s highest-rated Christmas Day game ever in primetime (2.2 vs. 1.3) based on fast national ratings. In the first contest, the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Orlando Magic game was up 27 percent in viewers versus last year’s game (2.6 million vs. 2.0 millions) and up 29 percent in fast national ratings (1.8 vs. 1.4) while the Clippers vs. Warriors was up 74 percent in viewers (3 million vs. 1.7 million) and up 69 percent in fast national ratings (2.2 vs. 1.3) over last year’s Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors game.

New York Sports