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NBA Finals: OKC Thunder vs. Miami Heat sets TV ratings record

by Mel Bracht Published: June 13, 2012

Game 1 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night on ABC was a ratings hit both in Oklahoma City and nationally.

The 44.3 rating (percent of TV homes) for the game on KOCO-5 shattered the team’s Oklahoma City ratings record by 26 percent. The record had been 34.9 for Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on June 6 on TNT.

The rating was better than all but one OU or OSU football telecast last season — the Bedlam game Dec. 3 in Stillwater, which got a 45.0.

The next two highest-rated markets were Miami, 30.5, and Tulsa, 27.7 — a Thunder best for the market.

Nationally, Game 1 of the Oklahoma City Thunder-Miami Heat series generated a record 11.8 overnight rating, the highest ever for a Finals opener on the network, according to Nielsen. The game peaked with a 14.1 rating from 10:30 to 10:45 p.m.

The 11.8 is up 10 percent compared to last year’s Game 1 (Miami vs. Dallas), which earned a 10.7. The previous record for Game 1 was an 11.6 in 2004 (Detroit vs. L.A. Lakers).

The “NBA Countdown” pregame show averaged a 4.6 overnight rating, up 28 percent from a 3.6 for last year.

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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