SBJ/Feb. 7-13, 2011/Media

Rise and fall of LeBron's teams

NBA teams' RSN ratings
Top 5
Team RSN Avg. rating
San Antonio FS Southwest 10.01
Utah FS Utah 6
Miami Sun Sports 5.4
L.A. Lakers FS West 4.9
Boston CSN New England 4.81
Bottom 5
Washington CSN Mid-Atlantic 1.28
Atlanta SportSouth 1.27
Charlotte SportSouth 0.91
L.A. Clippers Prime Ticket 0.82
New Jersey YES 0.29

Top 5
Team RSN Change
Miami Sun Sports 118%
Minnesota FS North 86%
L.A. Clippers Prime Ticket 75%
Chicago CSN Chicago 60%
San Antonio FS Southwest 57%
Bottom 5
Denver Altitude -19%
Milwaukee FS Wisconsin -28%
Detroit FS Detroit -32%
Atlanta SportSouth -34%
Cleveland FS Ohio -53%

Top 6
Team RSN Avg. no. of HHs
L.A. Lakers FS West 278,000
Chicago CSN Chicago 141,000
Boston CSN New England 118,000
New York MSG 115,000
Miami Sun Sports 85,000
San Antonio FS Southwest 85,000
Bottom 6
New Jersey YES 22,000
Sacramento CSN California 22,000
Oklahoma City FS Oklahoma 19,000
Memphis SportSouth 17,000
Milwaukee FS Wisconsin 16,000
Charlotte SportSouth 11,000
Note: Current-season data was not available for New Orleans and Toronto, and comparable 2009-10 information was not available for Sacramento. Compiled by John Ourand, David Broughton
The Heat is a top-5 team in ratings, viewers.
The specter of LeBron James is hanging over the NBA's local TV ratings for the first half of the season.

James' Miami Heat has posted the biggest local TV ratings increase of all NBA teams through January, more than doubling last year's mark: up 118 percent to an average rating of 5.40 on Sun Sports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, the team James left after last season, has seen the biggest decrease, with Cavs games on FS Ohio dropping 53 percent to an average rating of 4.07 through Jan. 31.

But the news isn't all bad for the Cavs. The 4.07 average rating is seventh-best in the NBA, and Cleveland's average viewership of 62,000 households per game is good enough for eighth in the league, surprisingly impressive numbers for a team that has the NBA's worst record and had lost 22 straight games as of last week.

Overall, local ratings for the NBA so far this season are strong: 16 teams were posting ratings increases through January, 11 teams had declines.

In Miami, the Heat's 5.40 average rating on Sun Sports ranks No. 3 in the league; its average of 85,000 households per game is tied for fifth.

"This team is fun to watch, and the ratings reflect that," said Steve Tello, senior vice president and general manager of Sun Sports. "Both new and existing advertisers have taken notice, and the games have enhanced the value for our affiliates. It's been a nice boost to our business."

Another success story is in San Antonio, where the league-leading Spurs have averaged a 10.01 local rating. In Chicago, the Bulls' 4.02 average rating on CSN Chicago is up 60 percent from last year and is double the club's mark from halfway through the 2008-09 season.

The New Jersey Nets are posting the lowest local ratings, with a 0.29 average on YES. The Los Angeles Clippers (0.82 on Prime Ticket) and Charlotte Bobcats (0.91 on SportSouth) are the two other clubs averaging less than a 1.0 locally.

Los Angeles Lakers' games on FS West command the NBA's biggest local audiences, with an average of 278,000 homes tuning in for each game. The Lakers are followed by the Bulls, Boston and New York.

The league's smallest local TV audiences have been in Charlotte, where Bobcats games have been viewed by an average of 11,000 homes. Milwaukee (16,000 on FS Wisconsin), Memphis (17,000 on SportSouth) and Oklahoma City (19,000 on FS Oklahoma) also have audiences below 20,000.

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