Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, in which the Bulls handed the Heat a 103-82 ass-whoppin' drew the largest ratings in cable history for a basketball game, Phil Rosenthal reported Monday (Tower Ticker):
National numbers released Monday showed the Bulls' '103-82 rout on TNT to be the most-viewed basketball game in cable history, with more than 11.109 million total viewers and a 6.2 overall household rating. The previous record was the 10.829 million viewers for the 2003 NBA All-Star Game, which was Michael Jordan's final appearance in the mid-season exhibition.Here in Chicago, Game 1 of the much-anticipated best-of-seven series on cable TNT averaged a 24.3 household rating in the Chicago market, or more than 850,000 local homes. That's nearly three times the 8.2 household rating for the season finale of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," the next most-watched show here Sunday night, according to overnight ratings from Nielsen Media Research.[...]The preliminary 7.4 household rating in the metered markets represented an improvement of 40 percent on TNT's corresponding playoff telecast a year ago, when it averaged a 5.3 household rating for the Western finals opener between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. That Monday-night game figure dropped to a 4.2 household rating -- and 7.112 million total viewers -- when the national numbers came in.
Miami's 23.3 household rating was a close second with West Palm Beach in third. Fourth was... (wait for it) ... Cleveland.