NBA Playoffs: Mavericks/Thunder Series Ends on Uptick

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The end of the Mavericks/Thunder Western Conference Finals scored an increase in both ratings and viewership from last year’s comparable Celtics/Magic game, but still trailed last year’s Lakers/Suns series.

Game 5 between the Thunder and Mavericks earned a 4.5 U.S. rating and 7.012 million viewers on ESPN Wednesday night, up a tick in ratings and 3% in viewership from last year (BOS/ORL G5: 4.4, 6.835M), but down 21% and 24%, respectively, from 2009 (DEN/LAL G5: 5.6, 9.238M).

Compared to Game 5 of last year’s Lakers/Suns series on TNT (PHX/LAL: 5.3, 8.670M), the game was down 17% and 19%, respectively.

Wednesday’s game drew a 20.3 rating in Oklahoma City, down 25% from Game 4 (27.0). The series averaged a 23.9 in the market. Ratings in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market were not available.

Game 4 was the most-viewed of the Mavericks/Thunder series, with 7.410 million viewers. Three of the five games drew at least seven million viewers, and a fourth game finished just shy of seven million. Game 3, a Saturday night blowout, was the low point, with just under 6.2 million.

The series accounts for four of the five highest rated Western Conference Finals games since 2000 that did not involve the Lakers. The lowest rated game of this year’s series (3.7 for Game 3) drew a higher rating than the highest rated game of Spurs/Jazz in 2007, the last non-Lakers West Finals (3.1 for Games 1 and 3).

Ratings/Viewership For NBA Western Conference Finals
Compared to 2010, 2009

Gm #
Year
Date
Game
Net
Rating
Viewers (000)
1
2011 Tue., 5/17/11 OKC 112, DAL 121 ESPN
4.3
6,982
2010 Mon., 5/17/10 PHX 107, LAL 128 TNT
4.4
7,112
2009 Tue., 5/19/09 DEN 103, LAL 105 ESPN
5.0
8,085
2
2011 Thu., 5/19/11 OKC 106, DAL 100 ESPN
4.4
7,041
2010 Wed., 5/19/10 PHX 112, LAL 124 TNT
4.4
7,004
2009 Thu., 5/21/09 DEN 106, LAL 103 ESPN
4.9
7,886
3
2011 Sat., 5/21/11 DAL 93, OKC 87 ESPN
3.7
6,175
2010 Sun., 5/23/10 LAL 109, PHX 118 TNT
5.0
8,460
2009 Sat., 5/23/09 LAL 103, DEN 97 ABC
5.4
8,731
4
2011 Mon., 5/23/11 DAL 112, OKC 105 ESPN
4.6
7,410
2010 Tue., 5/25/10 LAL 106, PHX 115 TNT
4.9
7,641
2009 Mon., 5/25/09 LAL 101, DEN 120 ESPN
5.8
9,731
5
2011 Wed., 5/25/11 OKC 96, DAL 100 ESPN
4.5
7,012
2010 Thu., 5/27/10 PHX 101, LAL 103 TNT
5.3
8,670
2009 Wed., 5/27/09 DEN 94, LAL 103 ESPN
5.6
9,238

Highest Rated Western Conference Finals Games Since 2000
That did not involve the Lakers

#
Date
Game
Gm #
Net
Rating
Viewers (000)
1
Mon., 5/30/05 PHX 111, SA 106
4
ABC
4.7
7,100
2
Mon., 5/23/11 DAL 112, OKC 105
4
ESPN
4.6
7,410
3
Wed., 5/25/11 OKC 96, DAL 100
5
ESPN
4.5
7,012
4
Thu., 5/19/11 OKC 106, DAL 100
2
ESPN
4.4
7,041
5
Tue., 5/17/11 OKC 112, DAL 121
1
ESPN
4.3
6,982

(Numbers from TV By the Numbers, The Oklahoman)

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