According to a press release distributed by the good people at ABC/ESPN today, game 1 of the NBA Finals drew an impressive 10.4 overnight rating on Thursday night. That represents a 17 percent increase from last year, when game 1 of the Magic/Lakers finals drew an 8.9 overnight rating.
Thursday night’s game tied the 2008 Finals for having the highest-rated game one in six years. 2008, of course, was the last time the Lakers and Celtics met in the NBA Finals. For all the new stars, upstart franchises, and exciting young teams out there in the NBA, it’s clear that the two teams people want to watch are the league’s two most storied franchises.