Ratings for Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat rose 3 percent from ratings for Game 1 of the 2010 series, ESPN announced Wednesday morning. The 2010 championship series, which pitted the Boston Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time in three years, earned a 10.4 household rating in Game 1; this figure means that roughly 10.4 percent of all homes in America with a television on were tuned in to the game. Thus, Game 1 of the Mavericks' series against the Heat earned a 10.7 rating.
Improving on the ratings from the Lakers/Celtics series, which pitted two storied rivals with devoted fans against one another, is not insignificant. The general public is, it would appear, more invested in the NBA than ever. However, not everyone shares that view, as CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell says ratings for this series will decrease sharply if the Heat succeed; he believes many casual viewers only watched Game 1 to see Miami fail, and if it continues winning, those viewers will lose interest.
Game 2 ought to put his theory to the test. Tipoff is set for Thursday, June 2, at 8 PM Central. ABC will carry the game nationally. See the full NBA Finals schedule here.