ABC Earns A 12.0 Overnight Ratings For The Heat's NBA Finals Game 4 Win
ABC earned a 12.0 overnight rating for Thursday's Heat-Spurs NBA Finals Game 4, down slightly from a 12.4 overnight for the comparable Heat-Thunder Game 4 last year, which aired on a Tuesday night. The game is expected to mark the 34th consecutive time a Finals telecast has won the night for all of television. Game 4 peaked with a 14.1 rating from in the 11:00-11:30pm ET half-hour. The San Antonio market averaged a 43.7 local rating, while Miami-Ft. Lauderdale drew a 34.2 local mark, both of which are the highest ratings of the series in those markets (THE DAILY). In San Antonio, Tim Griffin notes the slight ratings dip for this year's Finals "is not unexpected, considering that last season's blockbuster matchup between Miami and Oklahoma City highlighted the league's two hottest stars in LeBron James and Kevin Durant." This year's series "gets a double whammy" as there is a "perception ... that the Spurs are boring." History indicates that interest and ratings "pick up as a series progresses," so the "longer the Finals are extended, the higher the ratings should soar" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/14).
YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar writes ESPN's focus on the Lakers' travails this season "just might be a big part" of the reason the Finals ratings have dipped. ESPN "bombarded its viewers all season with coverage" of the Lakers, nearly "ignoring the best teams in the Western Conference, the Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder." Even when the Lakers "got off to a terrible start, the focus continued to be on story lines regarding the Lakers’ problems." When the team "continued to have problems, the talk centered on if they can make the playoffs instead of shifting focus to better teams." While it is "true that ESPN had coverage ad nauseam all season of the Miami Heat, it did little with the Spurs." Despite this team having the "same coach and core group of players who have won multiple NBA titles, the team isn’t glamorous enough to warrant ESPN’s star treatment all season that it gives the 'sexy' teams" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/14).