For the second time in a week, ESPN earned the second-largest NBA audience ever on cable television.
Game 6 of the Heat/Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Finals drew 11.068 million viewers on ESPN Thursday night, up 47% from Magic/Celtics Game 6 on a Friday night in 2010 (7.538M), and up 31% from Lakers/Nuggets Game 6 on a Friday night in 2009 (8.462M). There was no comparable game last season.
Thursday’s game is tied with Sunday’s Game 4 as the second-most viewed NBA game ever on cable television. Only Heat/Bulls Game 1 last year (11.109M) drew more viewers.
The past three games of Heat/Celtics now rank among the seven most-viewed NBA games ever cable. Overall, ten of the top eleven games have involved LeBron James.
Thursday’s game was the most-viewed program of the night on broadcast or cable, and also topped the charts among adults 18-49 (4.8).
(Thursday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)