The Miami Heat are not great – although they were last night (or maybe not?). Poor Bethleham Shoals, Deadspin’s Heat chronicler extraordinaire, sounds as though he wants out of his season-long assignment. It’s an ugly scene in South Beat… except if you’re talking TV ratings.
Go Sports Media Watch, go: “Wednesday’s Heat/Magic game drew a 2.0 U.S. rating and 2.985 million viewers on ESPN, up 67 percent in ratings and 66 percent in viewership from the same matchup last year (MIA/ORL: 1.2, 1.804 mil).”
In fact, “four of the six most-viewed NBA games on ESPN and TNT this season have involved the Heat. The other two games involved the Lakers and had Heat games as lead-ins.”
Which, in many ways, explains the Heat Index.
This Heat team, despite their on-court struggles, is compelling. And, unless they completely fall apart, they will remain so for the entire year. (Actually, there’s an argument to be made that they would become even more fascinating if they do implode.)
If you televise it, people will come.