The opening game of the 2012 Major League Baseball season was trumped by a marquee NBA regular season game on ESPN2 Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s Cardinals/Marlins Major League Baseball game, the first game of the 2012 season, drew a 1.8 overnight rating on ESPN — even with last year’s Dodgers/Giants game on Opening Night.
Cardinals/Marlins was outdrawn by the Thunder/Heat NBA regular season game on ESPN2, which drew a 2.1 overnight.
The 2.1 for Thunder/Heat is the highest ever for a regular season game on ESPN2.
Though the NBA won the ratings battle nationally, the Marlins trumphed over the Heat in Miami.
The MLB opener drew a 5.4 rating in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, the highest ever for a regular season game on ESPN or ESPN2. Meanwhile, the NBA game drew a 3.6 on ESPN2 in the market.
Keep in mind the Marlins game was exclusive to ESPN, while Thunder/Heat aired on both ESPN2 and Sun Sports.
Of note, both games drew a lower overnight than Tuesday’s Baylor/Notre Dame Women’s NCAA Tournament championship game (2.6) — though that may be due in part to some ratings cannibalization.
(Wednesday’s numbers obtained from ESPN)