Mombu 2012-04-24 17:54:10
Magic make ratings disappear.
Superman may be the NBA’s newest version of ratings kryptonite.
An uncompetitive and at times unwatchable Game 1 between the Magic and
Lakers drew an 8.9 overnight rating on ABC Thursday night, down 14%
from a 10.4 for Lakers/Celtics Game 1 in ’08, up 13% from a 7.9 for
Cavaliers/Spurs Game 1 in ’07, and the fourth-lowest overnight rating
for Game 1 of the NBA Finals since ’81.
The 8.9 overnight is also off 4% from a 9.3 for Heat/Mavericks Game 1
in ’06, and is only a tick higher than the 8.8 overnight Pistons/Spurs
Game 1 drew in ’05.
Since 2000, final ratings for Game 1 of the NBA Finals have fallen 18%
from the overnights, putting Magic/Lakers Game 1 on pace for a 7.3
The 8.9 overnight for Magic/Lakers Game 1 is lower than the overnights
for any game of last year’s World Series, with the exception of the
rain-delayed Game 3, and is also lower than the 10.2 overnight the
Kentucky Derby drew in May. Still, the 8.9 tops an 8.0 overnight for
the Daytona 500 and an 8.8 for the final round of The Masters.
One bright spot for ABC? In prime time (9-11 PM), Game 1 averaged an
8.8 overnight rating, helping ABC to an easy first place finish for
the night, and down only 4% from the 9.2 Lakers/Celtics Game 1
averaged in prime time last year. In other words, Magic/Lakers was
holding fairly steady with last year’s numbers until late in the game.
Another bright spot can be found from an unlikely source: the 2005
Spurs/Pistons series. Despite drawing a mere 7.2 for Game 1 — and
averaging a 7.1 through 4 games — the series ended up going seven
games and averaging a decent 8.2 rating. Unfortunately for ABC, Magic/
Lakers does not appear to be a long series.
The low ratings for Game 1 can only make the lack of a Cavaliers/
Lakers final sting even more for the NBA. Not only did the Magic knock
out a team with far more starpower, in LeBron James’ Cavaliers, but
also a team with far more local support. Game 1 drew a 23.9 in Orlando
— respectable, especially considering the Magic’s 25-point loss, but
not nearly as impressive as the numbers Cavaliers games drew in
Cleveland during the East Finals. Game 1 between the Cavaliers and
Magic drew a 27.2 in Cleveland — on cable.
In Los Angeles, Game 1 drew a 20.9, down 8% from a 22.8 for Lakers/
Celtics Game 1 in the market last year, and down 29% from a 29.3 for
Pistons/Lakers Game 4 in ’04.
Lowest overnights for Game 1 of the NBA Finals since ’81.
Cavaliers/Spurs Game 1
Nets/Spurs Game 1
Pistons/Spurs Game 1
Magic/Lakers Game 1
Heat/Mavericks Game 1