Although its teams are not in the biggest TV markets, game two of the NBA Finals continued to show higher results than a year ago.
Versus game two of a year ago, preliminary Nielsen numbers showed a 12% rise in household ratings to a 11.8 number for the ABC telecast between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder. In two games so far, the games have averaged an 11.8 household rating -- 11% higher than a year ago.
Specific demographics and viewership numbera also show gains. Game one was 6% higher in 18-49 than a year ago, with a 7% gain in overall viewership to 16.2 million viewers.
The second game of the NBA Finals typically has not been a big mover among viewers in recent years. Thursday night's game had the best viewing results in eight years, when the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons met for the championship in 2004.
But in terms of overall viewership of the length of the NBA Finals, the Heat-Thunder match-up still has a ways to go.
Last year's Heat-Dallas Mavericks final averaged 17 million viewers overall for its six-game series. It earned an overall 10.1 final household rating. The year before, 2010, the Lakers-Boston Celtics series -- two storied NBA brand-teams -- pulled in 18 million viewers over seven games. That contest scored an overall 10.6 final household rating.