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Nation tunes in to see Heat fail, television ratings up

Jun 13, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisl Getty Images

America loves some good schadenfreude.

Miami Heat and LeBron James were on the brink of being knocked out and the nation wanted to watch, which is why the television ratings for Game 6 were the highest for a Game 6 in 11 years (the first of the Lakers three-pete titles with Shaq and Kobe).

(Look, I’d love to think America tuned in to watch the smart and efficient basketball of the Mavericks, that they finally get how special Dirk Nowitzki is, but frankly I don’t have that much faith in the American public. These are the same people who buy shape up shoes and watch the Kardashians.)

Game 6 generated a 15 rating (meaning about 15 percent of all television in the nation were tuned to the game), which is up from the 12.3 last year when traditional powerhouses (and larger television markets) Los Angeles and Boston were going at it. The 15 was the highest of any finals game this season and any of he first six from last season (Game 7 last year drew an 18.3).

That game caps off a playoffs and full regular season that saw ratings in the league up, saw interest in the league increase. There is a real momentum. It’s the one reason to hope the lockout gets solved before games are lost — that would kill everything that has been built. Both sides give lip service to that idea, but we’ll see what happens when the negotiations face deadlines.

  1. savocabol1 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    To be honest, I think any game clincher in an NBA series will be higher rated than the other games. I would think it would make the news if it didn’t achieve a higher level of ratings.

  2. Justin - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    It is not the same people that watch the Kardashians. Why do I know this? I had to switch TVs to because the Kardashians season premier came on at 10 so I had to watch the 4th quarter on my other TV. And the shapeups? Promoted by Karl Malone and Abdul-Jabar.

  3. efueshe - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    I don’t know if America loves the misfortune of others (schadenfreude) so much as the fall of extremely foul pride. It’s not like the public hates LeBron James because he is an amazingly talented basketball player (which he is); the majority of people who dislike him do so because of his absolutely unbearable sense of entitlement, his debilitating immaturity and worst of all his seemingly unlimited arrogance. How do you expect the majority of basketball fans to enjoy someone who basically has said that it will be “easy” to win a championship , before even playing in one game with his new team, and has declared himself the future holder of 7 championship before he showed the capabilities to collect even one? That is not only insulting to his current competition throughout the league, but also insults the NBA’s past players and the history of the sport in general; I would like for James to go up to Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Dr. J, Magic Johnson or even Michael Jordan, all of which went through many challenges to eventually reach the mountaintop, and say that winning a chip is “easy”… I think it’s great to have optimism in your new team but they way he expressed his “optimism” is more of a symptom of his character than a PR blunder. This man is the epitome of the “villian” if there ever was in basketball (without actually breaking any laws) and I’m sorry but he deserves every single bit of criticism he gets because he continues to place a paramount of expectations on himself that he continues to fail to reach.

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