night's concluding game of the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals -- which
saw the Miami Heat advance to the NBA Finals for the second consecutive
season -- drew a 9.1 overnight rating for ESPN, the highest ever for an
NBA game on cable since records began in 2003, according to Nielsen.
The game was highest-rated program Saturday night on broadcast or cable. The game also averaged 13.3 million viewers, also the highest ever on cable, surpassing the old mark set in the first game of last year's Eastern Conference Finals (which included the Heat) by 19.85 (11.1 million).
was the third game in this series to set the record for an overnight
rating for an NBA game on cable. The series boasts the three highest
overnight ratings ever. Game 6 drew a 8.2 and Game 4 posted a 7.9
7 drew a 21.7 rating in Boston, marking the highest rating for an NBA
game on cable in that market. In Miami, the game garnered a 25.0 rating,
putting it as ESPN's highest-rated game ever in that market and the
third highest-rated game on cable.
The NBA Finals, which will pit the Heat against the West champion Oklahoma City Thunder, gets underway Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ABC.