SBD/June 7, 2013/Media

Overnight For Spurs-Heat NBA Finals Game 1 Down 10% Compared To '12 Opener

Spurs-Heat opener marked third-best NBA Finals Game 1 overnight since '04
ABC earned a 10.6 overnight Nielsen rating for the Spurs’ 92-88 win in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night from 9:00-11:45pm ET, down 10% from an 11.8 overnight for the Heat-Thunder opener last year. That game marked the best Game 1 overnight since ESPN acquired NBA rights prior to the '02-03 season. Spurs-Heat Game 1 is also down from a 10.7 overnight for the Mavericks-Heat opener in ’11, but still the third best NBA Finals opener since ’04. The 10.6 overnight is also the best overnight for any of the Spurs' four NBA Finals openers. Despite the drop, Game 1 delivered ABC a win in primetime and marks the 31st consecutive time an NBA Finals game has won the night across all of TV. The game peaked at a 13.1 rating during the conclusion of the game from 11:30-11:45pm. In Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, the game earned a 34.0 local rating, marking the best figure on record for the opening game of the NBA Finals. The telecast also earned a 35.3 local rating in San Antonio (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

: In Boston, Chad Finn notes Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has "gained notoriety over the years for his abrupt and frequently sarcastic responses to sideline reporters’ questions." They are "delivered with just enough of an I’m-in-on-the-joke undertone that they leave the viewer amused rather than feeling sympathy for the reporter stuck in a thankless spot." ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said, "It’s almost become funny how short Gregg is. I think he thinks he’s (not) getting paid by the word, because really, some of his stuff is very, very funny; short, and to the point." Van Gundy said that he "doesn’t necessarily think of the coach interview as a gimmick," but he "does believe there are more informative ways to use the time" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/7). Popovich prior to the start of the second quarter of Game 1 spoke with ESPN's Doris Burke courtside. Burke asked, "Nine days off is an eternity by NBA standards. Assess your guys' performance for 12 minutes." Popovich: "Well, I thought we were a little sharper than I was expecting after such time off so hopefully we can get better." Burke asked, "You expressed a bit of anxiety of Kawhi Leonard in his first Finals guarding LeBron James. From him specifically, what did you see?" Popovich: "He seems to be taking it in stride in this point in the game so he looks OK" ("NBA Finals Game 1," ABC, 6/6).
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