TNT chalked up the largest audience in cable history for a basketball game with its Sunday telecast of the opening game in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, Multichannel News reported.
The game, won by the Bulls, notched a 6.2 U.S. household rating, translating to an average of 11.1 million viewers, the story reports. That number topped the previous record of 10.8 million set during Michael Jordan’s final NBA All-Star Game appearance, in 2003. That game was also on TNT.
The Bulls-Heat opener topped TNT’s coverage of Game 1 of last year’s Western Conference Final between the L.A. Lakers and Phoenix Suns by a whopping 56% in total audience and 41% in household rating. TNT’s deal with the NBA has it alternating each year between finals for the Eastern and Western Conferences, with ESPN/ABC covering the other conference.