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Celtics-Heat delivers big ratings

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  March 19, 2013 02:22 PM

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The outcome may not have been the one Celtics fans desired, but the Heat's thrilling 105-103 victory at TD Garden Monday night lived up to its advance billing and then some.

Miami extended its winning streak to 23 games despite a brilliant 43-point performance by the Celtics' Jeff Green. It should come as little surprise that the excitement of the game resulted in impressive ratings for both ESPN and Comcast SportsNet New England.

ESPN's national telecast, with Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown calling the game, earned a 3.1 overnight rating, the third-best number ever for a regular-season NBA game on the network.

The only two higher-rated regular season games were a Lakers-Rockets matchup January 17, 2003 (3.8) and a Knicks-Heat game February 27, 2011 (3.2).

The game earned a 4.0 in the Boston DMA and a 5.3 in Miami on ESPN.

CSNNE, which had the local broadcast with Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn on the call, earned a season-best 4.8 household rating despite sharing the game with ESPN.

It is CSNNE's highest rating in a shared game since February 4, 2011, when the Celtics played the Mavericks. CSNNE topped ESPN in all demographics in the Boston market.

The game peaked on CSNNE with a 6.46 household rating during the final quarter hour of the telecast. Combining CSNNE's audience with ESPN's during that time frame, more than 12 percent of the households in the market were tuned in to the game.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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