Sunday night’s NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 on ESPN – in which Boston defeated Miami in overtime to even their series 2-2 – delivered a 7.9 overnight rating, the highest ever for an NBA playoff game on cable (records back to 2003), according to Nielsen. The game peaked with a 10.7 rating during overtime.
The 7.9 overnight rating is up 39 percent compared to Game 4 of the 2011 Western Conference Finals – Mavericks/Thunder – on ESPN (5.7) and up 30 percent compared to Game 4 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals – Magic/Celtics – on ESPN (6.1).
In Boston, the game generated a 20.7 rating, the highest for an NBA playoff game ever in the market. Additionally, the game posted a 19.8 rating in Miami – the third highest rating for an NBA playoff game on ESPN in the market.
Additionally, Game 4 set new records for an NBA game on ESPN3 and WatchESPN, generating more than 24.5 million minutes, which translates to an average minute audience of more than 128,000. Also, the average for total minutes for the four games of the Eastern Conference Finals is up 105 percent across all platforms, compared to 2011 (five games.)
The Eastern Conference Finals will continue on ESPN with Game 5 on Tuesday, June 5, at 8:30 p.m. ET with Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke providing commentary. The Finals on ABC will begin Tuesday, June 12.