NBA Hopes For Ratings Much Better Than 2006 Finals Between Heat And Mavericks

Beginning Tuesday, we'll see a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals, which pitted Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks against Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O'Neal and the Miami Heat. Miami has famously been a huge TV ratings draw since adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh almost a year ago; the Heat's Eastern Conference Finals series against the Chicago Bulls included three of the four most highly-viewed NBA games in cable TV history.

But the 2006 Finals didn't exactly set the Nielsens on fire. The six-game series did an average rating of 8.5 -- that means an estimated 8.5 percent of all households in the United States with a television were tuned in at any given point. That rates as the eighth-lowest ratings the Finals have seen since 1976, per a Wikipedia table.

And it isn't as if LeBron is a surefire Finals ratings winner; in fact, James' only previous Finals appearance, in 2007 as the Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs, drew the worst ratings since at least 1976, a 6.4. For comparison's sake, Heat-Bulls this season -- on cable television, not network TV like the Finals -- drew a 6.4. So expect LeBron to easily best his last Finals appearance.

Drawing the best post-Jordan ratings will be a steeper task; the 2001 Finals between the Lakers and 76ers drew a 12.1. In the Heat's conference finals series, ratings were up 25 percent over last year's Magic-Celtics showdown. A 25 percent improvement on last year's Lakers-Celtics finals would project a 13.2. It's possible, but might require a very competitive series.

Latest News

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.