Though not as big a draw as Game 4, the fifth game of the Celtics/Heat series scored impressive numbers on ESPN.
Game 5 of the Celtics/Heat NBA Eastern Conference Finals drew 10.251 million viewers on ESPN Tuesday night, up 46% from Thunder/Mavericks Game 5 last year (7.012M), and up 50% from Magic/Celtics Game 5 in 2010 (6.835M).
Compared to Heat/Bulls Game 5 on TNT last year, viewership declined 2% from 10.407 million.
Game 5 ranks as the sixth-most viewed NBA game ever on cable television, behind only Sunday’s Game 4 (11.068M), three games of last year’s Heat/Bulls series, and the 2003 NBA All-Star Game (10.829M). Nine of the ten most-viewed NBA games on cable have involved LeBron James.
In addition, Tuesday’s game ranks as the second-most viewed NBA telecast ever on ESPN (dates back to 2002).
For the night, Game 4 was the second-most viewed program in all of television, trailing only ‘America’s Got Talent’ on NBC (12.550M). Among adults 18-49 (4.6), the game was easily the top program of the night on broadcast or cable.
(Tuesday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)