Eastern Conference Finals Begin Tonight on ESPN And ESPN HD

mmmm, cheerleaderNBA Playoff Audience Up 31% on ABC; 28% on ESPN
Eastern Conference Finals Begin Tonight on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV

The NBA Playoffs on ABC are averaging 4,193,000 household impressions through the Conference Semifinals (nine broadcasts), an increase of 31 percent when compared to 3,204,000 households last season (eight broadcasts). The corresponding 3.7 rating is up 28 percent over the 2.9 rating in 2007. The NBA Playoffs on ESPN are averaging 2,657,000 households (16 telecasts), up 28 percent when compared to last year’s 2,076,000 households (14 telecasts). ESPN’s 2.8 rating marks a 27 percent increase over the 2.2 rating in 2007.

ABC and ESPN are also demonstrating significant growth in all key male demos:

ABC men 18-34 up 41% (1,136,000 vs. 808,000)
ABC men 18-49 up 36% (2,096,000 vs. 1,545,000)
ABC men 25-54 up 39% (1,963,000 vs. 1,411,000)
ESPN men 18-34 up 43% (826,000 vs. 578,000)
ESPN men 18-49 up 36% (1,474,000 vs. 1,086,000)
ESPN men 25-54 up 40% (1,341,000 vs. 958,000)

Sunday’s Conference Semifinal Game 7 on ABC between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers earned a 5.7 rating and 6,421,000 household impressions. The game is the fourth most-viewed non-Finals NBA Playoff broadcast ever on the network.

Exclusive coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals – Boston vs. Detroit – will tip off tonight with Game 1 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. Mike Breen will call the game with analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Michele Tafoya. All ESPN telecasts will be available in high definition on ESPN HD and will be simulcast on ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV. ESPN Radio will broadcast each game of the Eastern (Mike Tirico and analyst Hubie Brown) and Western (Jim Durham and Dr. Jack Ramsay) Conference Finals.