One of the bright spots in an otherwise slow postseason, the short-lived Heat/Knicks series concluded with another increase in viewership Wednesday night.
Game 5 of the Knicks/Heat first round NBA playoff series drew 4.102 million viewers on TNT, up 13% from Sixers/Heat Game 5 last year (3.623M), and up 62% from Bucks/Hawks Game 5 in 2010 (2.538M).
Of the 31* NBA playoff games on ABC, TNT, ESPN and ESPN2 this year, Wednesday’s Game 5 was just the ninth to have an increase in viewership compared to last year. Four of the nine increases were for Heat/Knicks games.
Later Wednesday night, Game 5 between the Clippers and Grizzlies drew 4.016 million viewers — down 6% from Nuggets/Thunder Game 5 last year (4.266M), but up 31% from Jazz/Nuggets Game 5 in 2010 (3.060M).
Despite the modest decline, the game ranks as the most-viewed playoff telecast this year to not involve the Heat, Thunder or Lakers.
CORRECTION 5/11/11: Knicks/Heat Game 5 was up 62% from Bucks/Hawks in 2010, not 43%; Clippers/Grizzlies Game 5 was up 31% from Jazz/Nuggets in 2010, not 39%.
* Does not include Sunday’s Bulls/Sixers Game 4 and Heat/Knicks Game 4 on ABC, as final viewership for those games was not immediately available.
(Wednesday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)