ESPN is going to stay in the Miami Heat business for as long as business remains very, very good.
The Heat, as you may have heard, have won 25 games in a row. They are eight games short of tying the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers' 33-game winning streak. Those sorts of things get national television to keep a constant eye on you.
While NBATV will take care of the Heat's pursuit of 26 straight against the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday, ESPN is jumping back into the fray on Monday. The Worldwide Leader will televise Miami's 7 p.m. ET game against the Orlando Magic. They will push scheduled coverage of the NIT over to ESPNews for the evening. The game will be blacked out in the Orlando and Miami markets.
The Heat are driving basketball conversation the NBA, which is an extremely difficult feat to accomplish for the league when March Madness is taking place. The last ESPN Heat telecast, against the Celtics last Monday, drew 3.78 million viewers to the network, and was the most-watched telecast of the night on cable among adults 18-49.