The Thunder is well on its way to a second straight TV ratings championship. According to Sports Business Journal, the Thunder leads the NBA with an 8.80 average on Fox Sports Oklahoma, a 5 percent increase from last season.
San Antonio is second, averaging a 7.33 rating on Fox Sports Southwest, up 22 percent from last season. When Spurs games on over-the-air stations are included, the team's average is 8.1. The 11 games on KENS have averaged 10.6, and two games on KMYS averaged 8.0.
The rest of the top five is Miami, Sun Sports, 6.85 (up 23 percent); Indiana, FS Midwest, 4.30 (up 139 percent); and Portland, CSN Northwest, 4.27 (up 51 percent).
Overall, the NBA posted ratings increases by 16 of the 27 teams for which SportsBusiness Journal received Nielsen data. Nationally, ESPN's ratings are flat (1.2 average), but ABC's dropped 19 percent (3.1 average).
THUNDER ON NATIONAL TV
The Thunder will face two of the NBA's best teams in national telecasts this week on TNT and ABC.
The Thunder will host the Miami Heat at 7 p.m. Thursday on TNT in what might be the network's highest-rated game of the season. Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and reporter Craig Sager will be the announcers. TNT's second game will be Houston at Golden State (Brian Anderson, Steve Kerr, Chris Webber and reporter Ric Bucher).
At noon Sunday, the Thunder will host the L.A. Clippers on ABC. Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and reporter Lisa Salters will call the game. ABC's second game at 2:30 p.m. is Chicago at Miami (Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke).
— CBS' NFL studio show, “The NFL Today,” has shaken up its lineup with Tony Gonzalez, a former All-Pro tight end with Kansas City and Atlanta, joining the show and Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe departing. Gonzalez will join host James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason. “The NFL Today” regularly ranks behind “Fox NFL Sunday” in the ratings.
— The NFL Network's live coverage of NFL Scouting Combine workouts begins Saturday with offensive linemen, tight ends and kickers, and continues with running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers on Sunday, linebackers and defensive linemen on Monday, and defensive backs on Tuesday. Coverage of workouts begins each day at 8 a.m. Commentators include NFL draft experts Mike Mayock and Charles Davis and former NFL coaches Steve Mariucci and Brian Billick.
— ESPN's “College GameDay” will be at two sites Saturday, previewing the No. 4 Arizona at Colorado game at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and 10 a.m. on ESPN and then previewing No. 1 Syracuse at No. 5 Duke at 5 p.m. on ESPN.
— Allen Bestwick has agreed to a new multiyear deal with ESPN and will become lap-by-lap announcer for ABC's telecasts of the IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500.