NBA Update: Despite Increase, ABC’s Bulls/Thunder Hits Low (Also: Tuesday’s Overnights on ESPN)

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Ratings increased substantially for the recent Bulls/Thunder NBA game on ABC, but the numbers were easily the lowest of the season on the network.

The April 1 Bulls/Thunder NBA regular season game drew a 1.9 final rating and 2.869 million viewers on ABC, up 46% in ratings and 47% in viewership from last year (PHX/SA: 1.3, 1.953M), but down 10% and 13%, respectively, from 2010 (CLE/BOS: 2.1, 3.303M).

Though up substantially from last year, the game ranks as easily the lowest rated and least-viewed NBA telecast of the season on ABC — and the first to drop below a 2.0 rating.

Later in the day, Heat/Celtics drew a 2.7 final rating and 4.241 million viewers, up 8% in ratings and 7% in viewership from both last year (DEN/LAL: 2.5, 3.962M) and 2010 (SA/LAL: 2.5, 3.957M).

The 2.7 rating ranks as ABC’s best NBA rating on Final Four weekend since 2004 (SA/LAL: 3.5).

Numbers For ESPN’s Special Tuesday Doubleheader: Tuesday’s Celtics/Heat game on ESPN drew a 2.0 overnight rating, while the Knicks/Bulls nightcap scored a 2.1. There were no comparable games on the network last year.

(April 1 and April 10 numbers from ESPN)

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