Bulls/Heat Game 1 Most Watched NBA Game in Cable TV History

by May 17, 2011

You and plenty of other folks tuned into TNT in record numbers on Sunday night for the start of the Eastern Conference Finals. From the Sun-Sentinel: “TNT, the cable network that is carrying this Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals, announced Monday that Sunday’s Game 1 was the most-viewed NBA game in the history of cable television, based on total viewership. According to a release from the network, 11.1 million viewers watched all or part of the Bulls’ 103-82 victory at the United Center. That total eclipsed the previous record of 10,829,000 total viewers for the 2003 NBA All-Star Game, which was Michael Jordan’s final All-Star Game appearance. The NBA Finals are not included in the comparison, with those games broadcast over network television, in this year’s case, on ABC. Last year, TNT’s first broadcast of the conference-final round, a game between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, delivered 7,112,000 viewers. According to CNBC, Chicago and South Florida were the top-ranked markets in the ratings for Game 1 of Heat-Bulls, with Cleveland a somewhat surprising third in the ratings.”