« Friday Heat report: LeBron update; Chalmers "trying to figure out where I fit in"; Wade calls for change | Main | Saturday evening Heat report: LeBron update, Amusing conspiracy talk, Popovich musings; and a media column »

Friday Heat report and media column: Who's more popular here: Heat or Dolphins? Here's some data; Media notes

Please see the last post for a full Friday report about on-court Heat matters and LeBron's health. Meanwhile, here's the...

WEEKLY MEDIA COLUMN

The Heat commands most of the South Florida sports fan’s interest this time of year, as the Dolphins do during football season. But has the Heat, in winning two consecutive championships and bidding for a third, surpassed the Dolphins in overall local popularity?

There’s no magical formula to answer that, and it’s impossible to make a completely fair comparison because of the difference in venue capacity and number of games and the lack of any recent Dolphins playoff games to use as a measuring stick.

Here’s what we do know:

### Dolphins ratings keep falling and Heat ratings keep rising.

Even though the Dolphins were in playoff contention all season, their 17.1 average local rating last season was down from a 17.7 in 2012 and ranked lowest of any market with only one NFL team and the fourth-lowest overall behind Oakland, the Jets and Giants.

That means 17.1 percent of TV households in Miami-Dade and Broward counties tuned in a Dolphins game, on average, equal to 283,000 per game.

By comparison, the dreadful Jaguars averaged an 18.3 rating in Jacksonville and the Buccaneers a 19.0 in Tampa.

Conversely, Heat regular-season cable ratings were the third-highest in the country, behind only San Antonio and Oklahoma City, and averaged a 6.9 on Sun Sports – up 22 percent from 2012-13.

Keep in mind that nearly 10 percent of Dade/Broward TV homes do not have cable or satellite service, whereas all Dolphins games air on free TV.

Dolphins games almost always outdraw Heat regular season games by a substantial margin, which isn’t surprising considering there are 16 Dolphins games and 82 Heat games. There were a few exceptions the past two seasons.

But Heat playoffs versus Dolphins regular season is a different story, once the second round of the NBA postseason begins.

The average local Heat rating during the first round against Charlotte was a 15.5, less than the Dolphins’ 17.1 average local rating in 2013.

But the Heat-Nets second-round series averaged an 18.9 rating in Dade/Broward homes. On the night of the first round of the NFL Draft, 16.7 percent of local homes tuned to Game 2 of Heat-Nets, compared with 6.3 for the draft.

Locally, the Heat-Pacers Eastern Conference Finals averaged a 23.4, easily surpassing Dolphins regular-season ratings. NBA Finals ratings assuredly will do the same, with Game 1 Thursday generating a 30.5 local rating.

### The Dolphins played to 85.5 percent capacity last season in terms of tickets sold, which was third-worst in the league (64,319 per game). The Heat, conversely, has sold out every game since LeBron James arrived.

### If you’re making the case that the Dolphins still command greater interest locally, this helps your argument:

Last year, there were 35.3 million page views for Dolphins/NFL content on The Herald’s site worldwide (10.8 percent from South Florida readers), compared with 13.1 million for Heat/NBA content (12.3 percent from South Florida readers).

And during the first four months of this year, the Herald’s web site had 201,132 unique local visitors for Heat/NBA stories, compared with 274,411 for Dolphins/NFL stories. Data is not available to distinguish Heat from non-Heat NBA stories.

And consider this: Last month, the Herald’s Dolphins blog drew 45 times as many worldwide hits as the Heat blog, though local numbers weren’t available and there were more Dolphins than Heat posts, which skews the numbers. (And in fairness, Heat content on this blog drew sizable readership.)

AROUND THE DIAL

### ABC’s 9.0 national rating Thursday tied for the second-highest for a Game 1 of an NBA Finals since 2004 and topped the 8.8 for the first game of last year’s Heat-Spurs series.

The 30.5 local rating ranked second among metered markets, with San Antonio first at 40.4. The rest of the top five: Austin (17.9), West Palm Beach (17.2) and Las Vegas (13.7).

### A year after preempting ABC’s NBA Finals pregame to carry its own program, WPLG-Channel 10 made the right decision by not repeating that mistake during these Finals. Station general manager Bert Medina, hired last October, is taking the viewer-friendly approach: airing a local show 60 minutes before tipoff and ABC’s national show 30 minutes before the game.

### Credit Doug Collins for elevating the quality of the ABC/ESPN studio show; the former coach doesn’t waste words and virtually every point he makes has merit.

For instance: When Sage Steele suggested the Thunder blowing a big lead in Game 4 against the Clippers was a case of complacency, Collins corrected her.

“It’s not complacency,” he said. “It’s bad habits,” going on to explain how OKC has this proclivity, at times, to stand around while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook try to win the game on their own.

### Shane Battier decided to accept a college basketball analyst job at ESPN instead of waiting to see if he would land a network NBA job. ESPN hasn’t decided which college conference to assign him.

### Personnel moves: Marv Albert is leaving CBS’ NFL coverage to reduce his workload. He will continue to announce the NBA for TNT and college basketball for CBS and Turner… Fox, which dropped Brian Billick as an NFL game analyst, hired former Giants offensive lineman David Diehl to replace him…. Adam Zucker will replace Tim Brando in CBS’ college football studio. Brando, who left CBS in January, this week took a college basketball play-by-play job with the new SEC Network. 

### Please see the last post for on-court Heat news from Friday... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Penguin

Shane Battier is a smart guy, but he just made a mistake. Underestimating himself?

joe r

Shane Battier will be fine; besides the college game like in football is far more interesting.

[]_[] exc[]_[]se cane/heat fans ...

THE SPURS ARE CHEATERS !!! No AC made it to hot for the HEAT !!!

Everyone's against []_[]s ! The NBA, REFS, NCAA and GOD !!!

Rodger

Everything else is laughable. If God is against you, you're in big time trouble. God bless you.

Dashi

To Hot for the Heat!!

Ha!!

The Heat got smoked out!!

Oh!!

I could see how Spur fans could be enjoying this.

More and more, I could see how it was done on purpose.

God is a funny being. He made E.SPOELSTRA a championship coach to laugh at the NBA. (And Me)

Only problem is Pop made a deal with devil last offseason for 1 more title.

I expect this Sunday, Father's Day, the Spurs arena is going to be hotter than hell at high noon.

And Spo won't adjust accordingly to help the Chosen One in his Crusade for another title.

Dashi

Is it just me? Or should the Spurs rename their arena after Popovich when he retires.

rboud

Miami is a football town. The only reason the Heat is even remotely close to being as popular as the Dolphins, Championships aside, is because the Fins are and have been miserable for many, many years.

green

rboud stole my thunder ...
the hapless dolphins have done jack sh_t for god knows how long ...
bad pr to boot yet hold up comparatively with the red-hot heat who are at their zenith (highest point) ...
please share internal data on the Hurricanes page & blog views ...
it's a football town ...
don't let anyone tell U otherwise ...

WE WERE HERE FIRST

green

sec is the best

Posted by: Reality Bites

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/11044060/acc-distributed-record-2917-million-total-revenue-2013-14-fiscal-year

The Atlantic Coast Conference distributed a record $291.7 million in total revenue for the 2013-14 fiscal year, the league disclosed to ESPN.com on Friday.

That number is up $56.6 million over last year, when the ACC was a 12-member conference. But now it has 15 members with the additions of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame in all sports except for football.

Expansion allowed the ACC to renegotiate its television deal, a big reason why revenues have increased. All 14 full members are set to receive an average of $20.8 million, up $1.2 million from last year.

Notre Dame will receive a different share, which was undisclosed.

The $20.8 million average each school is in line to receive is nearly identical to what will go to the 14-team SEC, which announced last week it will hand out slightly more than $20.9 million to its member schools after a record $292.8 million in total revenue.
-- ESPN.com

A DASH, PINCH OR SMIDGEN

dUh

Miami is NOT a football town.

Dolphins fans and UM fans are terrible. Their attendance given Miami's population is absolutely embarrassing. And the numbers don't lie.

Dipa Chupa Cabra

A large percentage of the fans in the lower part of the arena do not attend games because they're Heat fans but rather because they want to be seen there. Most local sports fans would gladly give up three Heat NBA championships for a Dolphin Super Bowl victory.

Phil

Your case for the Dolphins by using internal Herald page views is flawed in part. A generational gap exists in readership of newspaper websites and the general readership on the web as a whole. The older crowd is far more interested in reading newspaper articles and also far more inclined to follow the dolphins. Get a breakdown for different age groups and then see how much trouble the Dolphins will have in the future...unless they win of course.

The comments to this entry are closed.