Sunday’s Lakers vs. gold-medal hockey … L.A. had a choice, so guess what we watched?


There’s no flawed logic behind the Los Angeles market ranking a meager No. 48 on Nielsen’s often inaccurate list of those major cities viewing NBC’s live coverage of the U.S.-Canada men’s hockey gold-medal final from Vancouver.

The Lakers-Denver Nuggets game from Staples Center on ABC went head-to-head with the hockey — a contest that some may say was the most important test for the Lakers to date with a Western Conference foe.

For the hockey game, the L.A. market registered a 12.4 rating, an 18.4 percent decrease from the national NBC mark of 15.2.

For the basketball game, the L.A. market dialed in with a 5.2 rating, a 160 percent jump over a national ABC mark of 2.0.

Whenever there’s an important Laker game on national TV, L.A. pays attention. Compare that Lakers-Nuggets game to the most recent biggest Lakers regular-season games on ABC:

On Jan. 31, the Lakers-Boston Celtics game had a 3.5 final national rating; in L.A., it was 9.6 — a 174 pecent jump.

On Christmas Day, 2008, when the Lakers played Boston, that game did a 5.3 final national rating; in L.A., it was 12.1 — a leap of 128 percent.

This last Christmas Day, when the Lakers faced Cleveland at home, L.A. had a 8.4 rating, which was 93 percent better than the 4.4 national rating.

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