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Ratings up for Heat vs. Pacers series

May 30, 2013, 12:53 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

The Spurs and the Grizzlies, you didn’t care for that. Not you personally, but you the collective public. Ratings were down better than 30 percent no matter how you cut it.

LeBron James and his Heat vs. the Pacers? That you’re watching.

Game 4 drew 8.1 million viewers nationally and the numbers are good throughout the series, reports the Associated Press.

The series is averaging 7.7 million viewers, up 7 percent from TNT’s first four games of the 2012 Western Conference finals between Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The 4.8 average rating is an increase of 4 percent from the 4.6 at the same point last year.

Look for those numbers to climb for the next two, maybe three, games.

This is about LeBron — you may tune in to cheer him or boo him, but you tune in. A lot of people tend to lump Miami in with the big market teams in the NBA, but it is the 16th largest television market of the NBA cities (Indianapolis is 24th).

The NBA sells its stars and LeBron is it’s brightest one right now. So while the series is 2-2 you know who the ABC/ESPN suits are rooting for to face the Spurs in the Finals.

  1. RavenzGunnerz - May 30, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    NBA fans: “give small markets a chance”
    NBA: “on . Here is spurs vs Detroit”
    NBA fans: ” ugh! That’s boring. Oh, Dwight Howard has a new tattoo! !!!! ”

    NBA fans are funny bunch.

    • bucrightoff - May 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      This is the problem David Stern created. When you base your leagues success on the performance of stars, rather than teams, you pretty much pigeonhole yourself into having stars play for championships unless you want brutal ratings. I actually fully expect the Stanley Cup Finals to outrate the NBA Finals if its San Antonio-Indiana, which is a shame cause that should a great basketball series. But NBA fans have been conditioned for stars, and won’t tune in.

      • davidly - May 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        If the Pacers make it to the finals, the league should immediate dissolve into the new ABA and give Stern an eight-month advance retirement.

  2. pistolpete0903 - May 30, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    Helps that tip off is usually 8ET.

    • nolahxc - May 30, 2013 at 7:33 AM

      This couldn’t be more true.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 30, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      I don’t know about that – I’m on the West coast and we’re 3 hours behind, so games start at 5 pm here. Many people aren’t even off work yet.

      • pistolpete0903 - May 30, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        The larger media markets are located on the East coast….hence many people tune in.
        On the contrary if the Lakers were playing (especially home games), tip would be 10pm ET. So other than rabid fans, not many casual fans in Eastern and Central time zone would be up for that.

  3. thememyselfandiguy - May 30, 2013 at 5:41 AM

    sometimes I wonder if the heat lose on purpose to make the playoffs interesting for the world. imagine they would have swept the pacers. minimum 2 fewer games (tv$ worldwide, tickets sales,…); not a heatfan here, but the heat can blow out every team when it matters…watch!

  4. bandanamac - May 30, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    You have the Heat “fans”, people who want to see the best athlete in the world, people who want to see the Heat lose (also why Mayweather can score 1M buys fighting a paint can), and the Pacers who aren’t nearly as boring as they used to be. Oh, and the refs are getting their Donaghy on and keeping it interesting.

  5. logisticalvoices - May 30, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Somewhere in his secret bunker deep in the bowels of New York City, David Stern and his minions are smiling.

  6. fanofthegame79 - May 30, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    I originally thought that this series would go 6 games in favor of Miami…but with news like this, and with the Western Conference Finals being over, I bet it goes 7 games with Miami still winning. Why do I think this? The NBA likes money and ratings and this series is pulling in both. Why do I think the Heat win this series and go on to their 3rd Finals? Money and ratings. I don’t think a Spurs – Pacers Finals will bring in the ratings that the NBA wants and needs. I also think that teams have 3-year windows for winning consecutive titles. If you look back over the years (recent history) you’ll see that teams will go to the Finals 2-3 times in a row (Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Rockets come to mind).

  7. maximusprime107 - May 30, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    You’re high if you think the Stanley Cup will draw more viewers than the Finals

    • bucrightoff - May 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Consider the 4 remaining teams left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs: Chicago, LA, Pittsburgh and Boston. All have large, traditional fan bases except LA, which has 15 million people instead. Then consider Memphis-San Antonio drew around 4 million people, and that even if you go wild and say that number doubles for a Finals, it doesn’t grow much when Indiana is the opponent. Its moot though, Stern isn’t letting it happen so it will be Miami-San Antonio.

  8. gostlcards5 - May 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    For ratings….you can guarantee they don’t want Indiana.

    However, this is what’s funny about all the idiots that whine that the refs are favoring Indiana intentionally with their calls…..seriously?

  9. ProBasketballPundit - May 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    TNT > ESPN.

    NBA Countdown is improved this year with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, but they spent 92% of this season talking about the Lakers. Now it’s just bad Western Conference games followed by the unwatchable Sportscenter. I look forward to Inside The NBA after each TNT playoff broadcast. Charles may not know his X’s and O’s but he can be entertaining as heck. Also… for some reason ABC/ESPN games are a tad less in picture quality than TNT games on DirecTV.

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