The Miami Heat-Los Angeles Lakers game on Sunday, March 4th, drew a record amount of viewership for a non-Christmas, regular season NBA game on ABC. The game averaged 7.037 million viewers, and drew a 4.3 rating, tied for the highest all-time with a Lakers-Celtics game from last January.
Interestingly, the game received a higher rating in Miami (13.9) than it did in Los Angeles (9.6). Could this be a sign that the Lakers are losing some of their local market to the Clippers this year? Perhaps.
National interest in the game was high after Heat star Dwayne Wade broke Lakers icon Kobe Bryant’s nose in the All-Star Game a week and half ago. Bryant has been wearing a facemask since the incident, including during Sunday’s game. The game was also marketed as one of the NBA’s “Latin heritage nights” with the teams branded as “El Heat” and “Los Lakers.” If you’re going to be that transparent with a PR attempt, at least translate the teams’ names too. “El Heat” just sounds ridiculous.
[h/t: LA Times]