The fourth game between the Heat and Celtics set a ratings record on ESPN.
Game 4 of the Heat/Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Finals drew a 7.9 overnight rating on ESPN Sunday night, up 39% from Mavericks/Thunder Game 4 on a Monday night last year (5.7), and up 30% from Magic/Celtics Game 4 on a Monday night in 2010 (6.1).
Compared to Bulls/Heat Game 4 on TNT last year, which aired on a Tuesday night, the overnight rating marks a 10% increase from a 7.2.
The 7.9 overnight for Game 4 is the highest ever for an NBA playoff game on cable television, and the highest for any playoff game (excluding the NBA Finals) since Game 6 of the Spurs/Lakers second round series on ABC in 2003 (8.0).
The overnight is also the highest for a Game 4 in the Conference Finals since Kings/Lakers Game 4 drew an 8.0 on NBC in 2002.
Locally, Game 4 was the highest rated NBA game ever on ESPN in Boston (20.7), and the third-highest in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (19.7).
Game 3 on Friday night drew a series-low 5.6 overnight rating, up 24% from Mavericks/Thunder Game 3 on a Saturday night last year (4.5), and up 27% from Magic/Celtics Game 3 on a Saturday night in 2010 (4.4).
Compared to Bulls/Heat Game 3 on TNT last year, which aired on a Sunday night, the overnight was down 27% from a 7.7.