Lakers/Rockets Game 6 – ESPN’s Most-Viewed Basketball Telecast Ever Highest-Rated NBA Playoff Game in 2009; ESPN Conference Semifinal Audience Up 16 Percent
ESPN’s telecast of the NBA Conference Semifinal Game 6 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets Thursday, May 14, at 9:30 p.m. ET earned a 5.4 rating representing an average of 5,306,000 household impressions and 7,352,000 viewers (P2+) to become the network’s most-viewed basketball game ever. The previous record audience was 4,990,000 households and 6,602,000 viewers for Miami/Detroit, Game 6 of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals (May 31).
- The telecast is the highest-rated and most-viewed NBA Playoff game on cable in 2009;
- The telecast was the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed program in the calendar year (since December 29, 2008), topping last week’s Game 3 from the series (Lakers/Houston, May 8 – 4.5 rating; 4,432,000 households; 5,952,000 viewers);
- The Lakers/Rockets game delivered a 16.0 rating in Houston, the highest-rated NBA game on ESPN ever locally. In L.A., the game posted a 13.0 rating.
ESPN’s six exclusive conference semifinal telecasts averaged a 3.5 rating representing an average of 3,459,000 household impressions and 4,576,000 viewers, increases of nine percent in rating (3.2), 12 percent in households (3,099,000) and 16 percent in viewers (3,950,000) over last year’s seven conference semifinal telecasts.
Coverage of the Lakers/Rockets series will continue with the decisive Game 7 Sunday, May 17, on ABC at 3:30 p.m. Mike Breen will call the game with analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke. ESPN Radio will broadcast the game (coverage beginning at 2:45 p.m.), with Jim Durham and analyst Dr. Jack Ramsay providing commentary.