The Heat/Celtics series dipped below eight million viewers for the first time Friday.
Game 3 of the Heat/Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Finals drew 7.593 million viewers on ESPN Friday night, up 23% from Mavericks/Thunder Game 3 on a Saturday night last year (6.175M), and up 26% from Magic/Celtics Game 3 on a Saturday night in 2010 (6.023M).
Compared to Bulls/Heat Game 3 on TNT last year, which aired on a Sunday night, Friday’s viewership declined by 30% from 10.889 million.
Game 3 ranks as the least-viewed Eastern Conference Finals telecast to involve LeBron James since Magic/Cavaliers Game 2 in 2009, which also aired on a Friday night (6.910M). The subsequent eleven games (four in 2009, five in 2011 and two in 2012) each drew at least 8.3 million viewers.
Among adults 18-49, Game 3 (3.2) was the highest rated program in all of television Friday night.
(Friday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)