The NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder are proving to be a ratings bonanza for ABC, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Even with a small-market team in Oklahoma City, the series has attracted national interest — especially with the showdown between two of the league’s superstars in Miami’s LeBron James and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant.
The Times reports: “Ratings for the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are the highest on ABC since the network started televising the series in 2003, averaging 16.099 million viewers.
“The series has averaged a 9.7 rating, an increase of 7% from the 9.1 rating through the first three games of the 2011 NBA Finals. Viewership is up 5% over last season’s first three games.”
Miami took a 2-1 series lead with a 91-85 win Sunday in Game 3 — a broadcast that attracted 15.452-million viewers and generated an 8.8 rating, the Times reports. Game 4 is scheduled for tonight.