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The Count
The Sports Holiday Power Rankings
From the Wall Street Journal of Tue, 23 Dec 2014 22:56:48 EST

Most families gather on Christmas to exchange gifts, drink egg nog and wear ugly sweaters. And even for people who don’t celebrate, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the early NBA year with five nationally televised games.

But for Americans who want to watch a full day of diverse, high-quality sports, Christmas is far from the most inclusive holiday. It is actually the worst. The Count ranked 10 holidays based on the amount of televised national sports coverage, the number of different sports and the number of major sporting events. Christmas ranked last with only regular-season basketball.

The best sports holiday of 2014: New Year’s Day, with three different sports on national TV. Five of the six college-football games were rated as high-profile, as did hockey’s Winter Classic.

July Fourth also ranked high, featuring four different sports. Fans celebrated America’s independence by watching other countries play sports, with two World Cup quarterfinals and both Wimbledon men’s semifinals. On Labor Day, there was more overall coverage than July 4—24 hours versus 15—but only one top-notch event, tennis’s U.S. Open.

For sports fans who wanted to go on a bender with no regard for quality of action, Presidents Day was their Christmas, boosted by 30 hours of coverage of the Winter Games in Sochi on five different channels.

In fairness to Christmas, this year’s holiday includes LeBron James’s return to Miami and a showdown between two of the NBA’s most exciting teams (Warriors-Clippers). Then again, fully dedicating Christmas to basketball also means watching the Lakers and Knicks.

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