TV Ratings: Thunder, Heat, Top Local NBA Ratings (Also: NBA on TNT, “Open Court”)

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Last year’s NBA finalists are leading the way in local television ratings this season. In other news, TNT suffered declines for a recent doubleheader, and NBA TV has had large gains for original programming.

  • NBA Finalists Lead NBA Ratings Race: Oklahoma City Thunder NBA regular season games have averaged a 7.9 rating on Fox Sports Oklahoma this year, the top local average for any NBA team. Ranking second are the Miami Heat on Sun Sports (5.8). Last season’s local ratings leader, the San Antonio Spurs, ranks third this season (5.7). (The Oklahoman)
  • Fewer Viewers For TNT NBA Doubleheader: The December 27 Mavericks/Thunder NBA game drew 2.2 million viewers on TNT, down 8% from the same matchup in 2011 (2.4M), but up 25% from Spurs/Magic in 2010 (1.8M). Later in the night, Celtics/Clippers drew 2.3 million — down 32% from Knicks/Lakers in 2011 (3.3M), and down 5% from Heat/Suns in 2010 (2.4M). Last season’s games took place during Opening Week. (Thu. numbers from TV By the Numbers)
  • NBA TV Sees Gains For Original Programs: The NBA TV series “Open Court” has averaged 139,000 viewers this season (five telecasts), up 74% from last year, when the NBA owners’ lockout was still taking place. In addition, Turner Sports said in a recent press release that “The Association: Brooklyn Nets” has had a 53% increase in viewership. Turner did not disclose the averages for the series. (Turner Sports via The Futon Critic)
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  • ZabriskiePt

    If the last two or three editions of Playoffs and Regular Season have shown how NBA is now a far better draw than MLB, for various reasons, on national TV, these numbers confirm that Baseball is king on local TV when you consider the big numbers it gets during a six-month span.
    In the last season, at half-point, Baseball had three teams above the 8.0 mark and all of the first five above the 6.0 mark. Not bad when you compare those numbers with this season’s NBA local ratings, with just one team approaching 8.0 and all the others below the 6.0 mark.
    That’s how the big biz of Baseball works.