The heavily hyped Heat home opener earned strong (for the regular season) numbers on ESPN.
The Heat’s 26-point blowout of the Magic earned a 2.9 overnight rating on ESPN Friday night, the network’s highest regular season NBA overnight in five years.
The 2.9 is also the highest overnight ever for an NBA game on ESPN during the first week of the season (36 telecasts dating back to 2002).
Friday’s game drew a 9.3 in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale and a 7.3 in Orlando, the highest ever for regular season NBA coverage on ESPN in each market.
Despite the good numbers, Friday’s telecast was no match for Tuesday’s Heat/Celtics season opener on TNT. That game drew a 5.6 overnight.