Heat's Streak Leads To Record Ratings For Sun Sports; Eclipsing Dolphins Locally?
Sun Sports drew a 12.2 local rating in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market for the Heat-Celtics game on Monday night, marking a record for any Heat game -- regular-season or playoff -- on the RSN. The game also aired on ESPN (no local blackout), drawing a 5.3 rating in the market. Wednesday night’s Heat-Cavaliers game drew an 11.7 local rating on the Sun Sports, with the game peaking at an 18.5 rating as the Heat came back from 27 points down in the third quarter. Both telecasts beat the net’s previous top game rating -- an 11.1 for a game against the Pacers on March 10. Sun Sports has aired 20 of the 24 Heat games during the team’s win streak, averaging an 8.9 local rating during that period. For comparison, Sun Sports was averaging a 5.7 rating for Heat games heading into the All-Star break. Meanwhile, NBA TV has added coverage of Friday night’s Heat-Pistons game. The game originally was scheduled to be aired only on Sun Sports and FS Detroit (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). ESPN’s Bill Simmons on Wednesday night read a promo for the net's coverage of Heat-Bulls next Wednesday and said, “You know who’s praying that Miami’s streak keeps going? Here’s a hint: ESPN” (“NBA Countdown,” ESPN, 3/20).
MOVING PAST THE DOLPHINS: In Miami, Barry Jackson writes the Heat's ratings in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market are “climbing to levels once considered unfathomable for February and March.” The notion of a regular-season Heat game outdrawing a Dolphins game "would have been absurd" a few years ago, but "no longer.” During the Heat’s 24-game win streak, the two ABC Sunday afternoon games “produced larger Dade/Broward ratings” than the 13.5 local rating for the Texans-Dolphins opener last September. Jackson: “Even more impressive: Monday night’s Heat-Celtics game on Sun and ESPN produced a combined 17.5, smashing not only the Dolphins opener (by nearly 65,000 homes), but also topping the 16.3 average Dolphins rating locally last season” (MIAMIHERALD.com, 3/22).