Thunder/Heat on ESPN2 Beats MLB Opener on ESPN — But Marlins Top Heat in Miami


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)

  • Bessilver

    I contend that Heat vs Thunder game, if televised on ESPN & not ESPN2, the ratings would have been several ticks higher.

  • JakeFrankie

    Not shocking that NBA won the National TV ratings battle even with the game being on ESPN2. Also not shocking Marlins won the Local tv ratings battle last night, Marlins are opening up a new park, pretty much like a new team with all there signings.NBA ratings have been great all season long as the usual, But as the playoffs are 3 weeks away I really see the NBA TV ratings picking up very soon to be even higher. 

    Pauslen how did the “Battle of LA” Matchup of the Clippers-Lakers do on ESPN in the latter timeslot?

    • Paulsen

       I saw on Twitter that the game drew a 1.7 overnight, but was unable to confirm that number.

  • Andrea Cavalli

    Too bad the game was on ESPN2..if it was on ESPN it would’ve probably earned an even higher rating, especially considering it was a great game.