Saturday night's Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 on ESPN, which propelled the Miami Heat into the NBA Finals, delivered a record 9.1 overnight rating, the highest for an NBA game ever on cable (records back to 2003).
The Eastern Conference Finals generated the three highest overnight ratings for NBA games ever on cable — 9.1 (Game 7), 8.2 (Game 6) and 7.9 (Game 4).
In Boston, Game 7 delivered a 21.7 rating, making it the highest-rated NBA game on cable in the market. In Miami, Game 7 generated a 25.0 rating, ranking as the market's highest-rated NBA game ever on ESPN and third highest-rated game on cable.
Ratings were well above average in Oklahoma City with a 14.2. Tulsa had a 7.2.KOCO plans added coverage
KOCO-5 plans to add local pregame and postgame shows before and after ABC's finals coverage. The Tuesday night pregame show with Thunder analyst Grant Long and former Thunder player Desmond Mason will air from 6:30 to 7 p.m. The late newscast will be solely postgame coverage, including player interviews and news conferences.
If weather conditions warrant, KOCO General Manager Brent Hensley said the station will have an option to move the game or storm coverage to digital station 5.2 (Cox 222) as in past years.
"We also have the ability to interrupt during network breaks," he said. "Certainly we will be sensitive to the game and viewers, who need life-threatening weather information."
Hensley is expecting huge finals ratings that "will rival OU and OSU football ratings."
‘Thunder Live' to air after games
Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37 and 722) will continue to follow the team in the NBA Finals with special “Thunder Live” postgame shows after every finals' game.
Fox Sports Oklahoma Thunder announcers Brian Davis, Grant Long and Kelly Crull will be joined by “Thunder Live” analyst Stephen Howard and anchors Dana Larson and John Rhadigan to break down the games and offer a local perspective.
Bayless picks Heat
Skip Bayless, an Oklahoma City native who is a commentator on ESPN2's “First Take,” predicted the Heat would win the NBA Finals in six games. Stephen A. Smith, Bayless' sidekick on “First Take,” picked the Thunder to win in six games.