Olympics Ice NBA All-Star Game

A couple high-profile no-shows and a huge turnout for the Winter Olympics ate into TNT’s NBA All-Star Game deliveries, as Sunday night’s pro hoops expo drew 6.85 million viewers.

Compared to last year’s East-West showdown, which served up 7.62 million viewers, the draw for the Feb. 14 All-Star Game was off by 10 percent, per Nielsen ratings data. While Sunday’s game was one of the least-watched contests in the last 20 years, it out-delivered the 2008 edition by 8 percent and notched a virtual tie with the 2007 All-Star Game (6.84 million).

Demos also faltered. TNT served up 3.79 million viewers 18-49, a 7 percent drop from its year-ago delivery of 4.07 million. Adults 25-54 were off 12 percent (3.33 million), while viewers 18-34 dropped 17 percent, to 2.26 million.

TNT’s presentation of the NBA All-Star Game ran opposite NBC’s third night of Winter Olympics coverage, which drew 26.4 million viewers. Much of the broadcaster’s Sunday night menu was devoted to figure skating.

In addition to the bleed-off from the Vancouver Games, the absence of bold-face names like Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal may have cost TNT a good deal of casual viewers. If that was the case, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James were big draws at the gate; the final attendance figure at the new Cowboys Stadium was an all-time record 108,731.