Though not as big a draw as Game 4 on Sunday, Game 5 of the Celtics/Heat series earned big numbers for ESPN.
Game 5 of the Celtics/Heat NBA Eastern Conference Finals drew a 7.6 overnight rating on ESPN Tuesday night, up 38% from both Thunder/Mavericks Game 5 on a Wednesday night last year (5.5) and Celtics/Magic Game 5 on a Wednesday night in 2010 (5.5).
Tuesday’s overnight is flat compared to Heat/Bulls Game 5 on TNT last year.
The 7.6 overnight is tied as the third-highest for an NBA game on cable since the current television contract went into effect in the 2002-03 season, trailing Sunday’s Game 4 (7.9) and Bulls/Heat Game 3 on TNT last year (7.7).
Locally, Game 5 drew a 21.5 rating in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale — down 15% from Bulls/Heat Game 5 last year (25.2), but the second-highest rating ever for an NBA game on ESPN in the market. In Boston, the game drew a 19.0 rating.
* UPDATE 6/4/13: Fixed error on OKC/DAL and BOS/ORL overnights.
(Tuesday’s overnight from ESPN)