ESPN earned a 6.6 overnight Nielsen rating for the Heat’s OT win over the Celtics in Game Two of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, up 29% from a 5.1 overnight for the comparable Mavericks-Thunder Western Conference Finals Game Two last year and up 16% from Celtics-Magic Game Two in ’10. Last night's game peaked at a 9.0 rating during OT. The game posted a 21.9 local rating in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, setting a record in the market for an NBA Playoff game on ESPN. The previous record was set in Game One. Leading into last night’s game, ESPN earned a 2.7 overnight for the NBA Draft Lottery, up slightly from a 2.6 rating last year. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale topped all markets for the lottery telecast with a 7.6 local rating, followed by Cleveland-Akron (6.0), New Orleans (5.7), Charlotte (5.5) and Memphis (4.9) (THE DAILY).DON'T LOOK AT ME: Disney Chair & CEO Bob Iger yesterday "pointed at regional sports networks as the main culprits for increased pricing” on monthly cable bills despite the fact ESPN charges $5.15 per household per month. Iger indicated that ESPN “provides additional services along with rate increases." Iger: “If you look at the cost of those channels versus the ratings they deliver, it’s not even close (to ESPN.)” SNL Kagan figures showed Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is “the highest-priced regional sports network, weighing in at $4.02 per month per household.” FS North is second at $3.68” (N.Y. POST, 5/31).
WELCOME TO THE TEAM: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic hired Tarik El-Bashir from the Washington Post to be the RSN's "Redskins Insider." El-Bashir's work will appear on TV and on CSN's website. El-Bashir spent 13 years at the paper, most recently covering Georgetown basketball and the Capitals (John Ourand, THE DAILY).