SBD/March 20, 2013/Media

NBA TV Partners Face Shortage Of Heat Games As Team Goes For Win-Streak Record

ESPN drew one of its strongest ratings ever during the regular season for the Heat's two-point win Monday over the Celtics, which extended the team's winning streak to 23 games, but the NBA's broadcast partners may not be able to capitalize on the Heat's quest to break the Lakers' 41-year-old streak of 33 games as much as they may want to. ESPN is only scheduled to have one more Heat game this season -- next Wednesday’s matchup against the Bulls (potential win No. 27) -- while ABC will air the April 14 Bulls-Heat game. ESPN and ABC will then be maxed out on appearances by the Heat, as the nets will have shown the team 10 and five times, respectively. TNT also only has one scheduled Heat game left before it hits its max of 10 broadcasts, the April 2 matchup against the Knicks (win No. 31). The Heat play the Bucks on April 9 in what would be the record-setting 34th consecutive win, and an ESPN spokesperson said the net would be able to show live cut-ins of the game on its "NBA Coast To Coast" whip-around show. However, it could not air the entire game. NBA TV could be the beneficiary of ESPN and TNT's misfortune, as the April 9 game likely will be among those up for selection in the net's weekly Fan Night pick. NBA TV is scheduled to air at least one game on the road to 34 -- the Easter night showdown against the Western Conference-leading Spurs (win No. 30) -- as well as the April 12 game against the Celtics. Sun Sports has the regional rights to both the April 9 game and the potential record-tying game against the 76ers on April 6.

BIG MARKS FOR MONDAY'S GAME: ESPN finished with a 2.5 U.S. rating and 3.8 million viewers for Monday's Heat-Celtics game. That marks the net’s fourth-best NBA regular-season audience on record. Heat games have accounted for two of ESPN’s top five most-viewed NBA games this season. For the season to date (64 games), ESPN is averaging a 1.2 rating and 1.8 million viewers. TNT has seen Heat games account for three of its five most-viewed games this season. Through 42 NBA telecasts, TNT is averaging a 1.4 rating and 2.1 million viewers.

MOST-VIEWED NBA REGULAR-SEASON GAMES ON ESPN
FOR '12-13 SEASON TO DATE
DATE
MATCHUP
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
3/18
Heat-Celtics
2.5
3,787
12/25
Celtics-Nets
2.2
3,739
1/4
Lakers-Clippers
2.1
3,086
11/2
Clippers-Lakers
2.1
3,062
11/2
Heat-Knicks
1.8
2,783
MOST-VIEWED NBA REGULAR-SEASON GAMES ON TNT
FOR '12-13 SEASON TO DATE
DATE
MATCHUP
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
10/30
Celtics-Heat
3.4
5,371
10/30
Mavericks-Lakers
2.9
4,298
1/17
Heat-Lakers
2.3
3,547
2/14
Heat-Thunder
2.2
3,391
3/5
Lakers-Thunder
2.2
3,339

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