Dallas Mavericks Defeat Of The Miami Heat Earns Massive Ratings

By Josh Tyler 2011-06-13 16:13:10 discussion comments
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Last night America united in celebration. Whether you tuned in to see the preening Heat lose or like me, you were there to see Dirk Nowitzki finally getting his due as the most humble, hard-working athlete in sports, the Dallas Mavericks victory over the Miami Heat in game 6 of the NBA Finals is a pretty big deal. Such a big deal, in fact, that it was the third most watched NBA event since ABC began broadcasting games back in 2002.

Game 6 and the subsequent trophy presentation were watched by 15 percent of all households in the top 56 U.S. television markets. In these days of fractured viewing habits, that’s a big deal. It’s the kind of spotlight someone like LeBron James and his marketing team craves. It’s all the sweeter that this massive national spotlight ended up focused on Dirk Nowitzki instead, a man who after cementing his legacy as one of the best clutch performers in the history of the NBA (behind only the likes of Michael Jordan and Shaq) by defeating the Heat, ran back to the locker room so no one would see him cry; a man who said of the accolades he’d just earned, “I didn’t even want to come out for the trophy.” You’ll never hear LeBron James say something like that.

Dirk’s hard work and humility combined with the Mavericks' team-first approach stood in stark contrast to the self-congratulatory flash of the star-studded Miami Heat. America responded by tuning in to root the Mavs on to victory over the most hated group of villains in recent sports memory. Game 6’s ratings were 22-percent higher than the 12.3 rating received by Game 6 last year, between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, both bigger market teams than either of the franchises involved in this year’s contest. Ratings were 35 percent higher than the ratings from 2006, when the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks squared off for the first time, with very different results. Take that with you.

Those of you who weren’t watching Jason Terry’s total domination of LeBron were probably watching the 65th Annual Tony Awards, up 9% over its performance last year in part thanks to repeat host Neil Patrick Harris, or HBO’s Game of Thrones. The 9pm airing of HBO’s gritty new fantasy series recorded its highest ratings so far, averaging 3.6 million viewers, up more than 22 percent over the ratings received by the first episode several weeks ago. Mix in DVR and On Demand viewings, and Game of Thrones is pulling in around 8.3 million viewers a week.
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