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SBD/May 26, 2011/Media
ESPN Earns 5.5 Overnight For Mavericks-Thunder Western Conference Finals Clincher
Published May 26, 2011
PERFECT RECIPE: TNT earned a 6.1 U.S. rating and 9.8 million viewers for Tuesday night's Heat-Bulls Eastern Conference Finals Game Four, up 24.5% and 27.9%, respectively, from a 4.9 rating and 7.6 million viewers for the comparable Lakers-Suns Western Conference Finals Game Four last year. Through four games of the Eastern Conference Finals, TNT is averaging a 6.2 rating and 10.4 million viewers, up 32% and 38%, respectively, from the first four games of the Lakers-Suns series last year (Karp). In N.Y., Michael Starr notes TNT's viewership for Heat-Bulls is "nearly 50 percent more than the first four games of last year's conference finals (Celtics-Magic), which averaged 7 million viewers on ABC and ESPN." The "big numbers are being driven by the big story in the NBA playoffs this year" -- Heat F LeBron James against Bulls G Derrick Rose. But the games also "have all been close," and Tuesday's Game Four "even went into overtime." Starr notes there is "talk" that the Heat-Bulls series "could draw more viewers than the championship series, which will start next on ABC" (N.Y. POST, 5/26).
SAY WHAT? In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes it is "hard not to like" ESPN studio analyst and Basketball HOFer Magic Johnson, but adds, "For the love of the English language, he really needs to stop talking." Engel: "Magic Johnson often makes Emmitt Smith sound like an English teacher. ... Does Charles Barkley butcher the English language on the same level as Magic? Yes. But at least he does it with a smile, a wink and laughs at himself" (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 5/26).