The opener of the Knicks/Heat NBA playoff series did not earn blockbuster numbers on ABC Saturday, but still managed to eke out an increase over last year.
Game 1 of the Knicks/Heat first round NBA playoff series drew a 3.1 final rating and 4.752 million viewers on ABC, up a tick in ratings and 5% in viewership from Sixers/Heat Game 1 last year (3.0, 4.546M), and up 24% and 29%, respectively, from Bulls/Cavaliers Game 1 in 2010 (2.5, 3.679M).
This marks the most-viewed game on the first Saturday of the playoffs (on broadcast) since Supersonics/Spurs Game 1 on NBC in 2002 (4.946M).
With that said, significantly higher numbers could have been expected, considering the teams involved.
On Sunday, Game 1 of the Nuggets/Lakers series drew a 3.3 final rating and 4.882 million viewers — down 11% in ratings and 18% in viewership from Hornets/Lakers Game 1 last year (3.7, 5.950M), and flat in ratings and down 5% in viewership from Thunder/Lakers Game 1 in 2010 (3.3, 5.132M).
The game actually drew a lower rating and fewer viewers than the Thunder/Lakers regular season game in the same timeslot a week earlier (3.4, 5.095M).
(Saturday/Sunday numbers from ESPN)