Grizzlies-Spurs Game 1 draws awful ratings, as expected

We all saw this coming, but I don't think we realized it would be this bad: the Grizzlies-Spurs Western Conference Finals opener on Sunday drew a putrid 3.9 overnight rating, the lowest for a Conference Finals Game 1 since 2007, when both the Pistons-Cavaliers (3.5, TNT) and Jazz-Spurs (3.8, ABC) did worse than this series.

Let's put thie Game 1 in perspective, shall we? The game was down 41% from Game 1 of the Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals last year on ESPN (6.6), and down 26% from Game 1 of the Thunder-Mavericks Conference Finals on ESPN in 2011 (5.3). The game was also down 32% from the 5.7 overnight that Game 1 of the Thunder-Spurs Conference Finals drew last year on TNT, and it's especially brutal when you consider that those three games were all on cable, compared to Sunday's game on network television. 

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The game also drew the third lowest overnight during these playoffs on ABC, behind just Game 1 of the Celtics-Knicks Quarterfinals (3.7) and Game 1 of the Grizzlies-Thunder Semifinals (3.8). It's the third lowest of 11 Conference Finals games aired on ABC as well.

To top things off, on a slow weekend for the NBA, the game got outrated by Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Knicks and Pacers on ESPN, which drew a 4.1 and aired on Saturday night. 

I'd be interested to see how much every game of the Pacers-Heat Eastern Conference Finals on TNT outrates every game of ESPN's Western Conference Finals by, and I think I'd be willing to set the floor at 20%. The Memphis-San Antonio series had a chance to drag viewers in, but a 22 point blowout in Game 1 that no one watched isn't going to set the world on fire by any means.

[Sports Media Watch]

Joe Lucia

About Joe Lucia

Joe is the managing editor of The Outside Corner and a contributing author at Awful Announcing. He lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is stuck somewhere between tolerating and hating Pittsburgh and Philadelphia sports.

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