NBA Playoffs TV Ratings: Eastern Finals Continues to Trail Previous Heat Series


The NBA Eastern Conference Finals cannot quite compare to previous such series to involve the Miami Heat.

Game 5 of the Heat/Pacers NBA Eastern Conference Finals earned 7.3 million viewers on ESPN Wednesday night, down 29% from Celtics/Heat Game 5 on the network in 2012 (10.3M). There was no Game 5 of last year’s Spurs/Grizzlies series on ESPN; Game 5 of Pacers/Heat on TNT drew 8.5 million.

Heat/Pacers Game 5 ranks as the fifth-least viewed conference final telecast to involve the Heat since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the team in 2010 (24 telecasts). The six least-viewed have been Heat/Pacers games, and four of the six have taken place in this year’s series.

Game 5 had a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49, easily ranking as the night’s top program on broadcast or cable. That marks an improvement over Games 3 and 4 — 2.7 and 2.8, respectively — but trails last year’s Game 5 rating on TNT by 16% (3.7).

(Wed. numbers from TV By the Numbers)