ESPN's Thunder-Heat telecast Wednesday night — a 2012 NBA Finals rematch — delivered a 2.7 overnight rating as ESPN's highest-rated NBA game this season.
The telecast led to a local market ratings surge in several markets, including Oklahoma City, which got a 9.1 final rating. Miami had a 6.1 overnight and Tulsa an ESPN NBA regular-season record 4.9.
The game also provided the Thunder its highest rating of the season in Oklahoma City. The game did a combined 16.9 rating (9.1 on ESPN, 7.8 on Fox Sports Oklahoma). The previous best was a 16.4 for the Clippers-Thunder game Nov. 21 on TNT.
Burke responds to interview criticism
ESPN sideline reporter Doris Burke's reaction to Thunder star Kevin Durant crediting “God and Jesus Christ” for his recent hot streak in a postgame interview Wednesday night drew criticism on social media sites. Burke sort of laughed at Durant's response and asked “so you had nothing to do with it?” In an email Thursday, she said: “He just took me by surprise with his reaction — not because he's a believer, I'm a believer. It was an incredible demonstration of humility in the context of what has been a truly spectacular stretch.”
*Sports talk KREF-AM 1400 will be begin simulcasting on a low-power FM station, 98.5, on Saturday, program director T.J. Perry said. Doyle Brewer, CEO and founder of The House FM Christian Hits Network, said its 88.5 signal is already reaching the Oklahoma City metro areas, allowing its 98.5 Norman station to switch over to KREF.
*The No. 8 OSU men's basketball team will be make two ESPN appearances in a span of three days. The Cowboys will host Baylor at 1 p.m. Saturday (Dave Flemming and Jimmy Dykes) and appear on Big Monday for the second week in a row when they host No. 16 Iowa State at 8 p.m. (Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla and reporter Holly Rowe).
*The OU women's team also will be on at 6 p.m. Monday on ESPN2 when the Sooners host No. 9 Baylor (Beth Mowins and Kara Lawson).
*Fox Sports Oklahoma will televise two OU shows Wednesday on National Signing Day. The “OU Football Signing Day Morning Recap” will air from 9-11 a.m. and “OU Football Signing Day Press Conference” from 4-5 p.m. FSOK also will have Texas A&M coverage from 7-9 a.m., Texas Tech from 11-11:30 a.m. and a Southwest Signing Day special from 5-6 p.m. Hosted by Fox Sports Southwest's Erin Hartigan with recruiting experts Randy Rodgers and Greg Powers, the Southwest special will grade recruiting classes for schools in the Southwest region.