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Economic stakes in Heat–Pacers Game 7: A Spurs-Pacers NBA Finals could be the lowest-rated in NBA history.

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Matthew Yglesias points out why the NBA is nervous about game 7 between the Pacers and Heat:

I'll be watching Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight because I'm expecting a great basketball game. Executives at ABC should be watching because they have a lot of money on the line. Ratings for a Spurs–Heat final are likely to be dramatically better than those for a Spurs–Pacers final.

How much better?

Well, start with the fact that San Antonio coming out of the West is just bad for business. ABC started airing the NBA Finals in 2002. Since that time, the San Antonio Spurs have made three NBA Finals appearances—the lowest-rated ABC Finals in 2007, the second-lowest-rated ABC Finals in 2003, and the third-lowest-rated ABC Finals in 2005. By contrast, ABC's three best NBA Finals have all featured the Los Angeles Lakers. So the decline of the Lakers and the resurgence of the Spurs looks like an economic disaster for the network. But the three highest-rated non-Lakers finals have all featured—you guessed it—the Miami Heat.

Here's a table:

  1. 2004 — Pistons vs. Lakers
  2. 2010 — Celtics vs. Lakers
  3. 2002 — Nets vs. Lakers
  4. 2011 — Heat vs. Mavericks
  5. 2012 — Heat vs. Thunder
  6. 2008 — Celtics vs. Lakers
  7. 2006 — Heat vs. Mavericks
  8. 2009 — Magic vs. Lakers
  9. 2005 — Pistons vs. Spurs
  10. 2003 — Nets vs. Spurs
  11. 2007 — Cavaliers vs. Spurs

In a nutshell: the Lakers and Heat get ratings; the Pacers and Spurs do not.

How low can the TV ratings go?

for the NBA, very

They won't say it, but the NBA is praying the Heat win tonight.

Yeah, but TONIGHT ....

Let's see if Roy Hibbert can bring it all to the court.

Tonights game in a nutshell - Imgur

Heat just under 60%.

Wasn't even close. Boy that de-escalated quickly.

Pacers:  "They took away our pocket passes."   What's a pocket pass?


Dwyane Wade is the Bekham of Basketball.

He sure is. And in game 7, he came alive!

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