Well here’s a prediction that won’t make me look like Nostradamus.
Game 6 will be top-rated among the NBA Finals.
Given the overnight ratings for Game 5, that’s to be expected.
Sunday’s ABC broadcast — which aired on WEWS (Channel 5) locally — enjoyed an 11.4 rating and averaged 16 million viewers through its broadcast window, peaking with 19.3 million sets of eyes on it.
The fifth game, during which the San Antonio Spurs, with the help of a rejuvenated Manu Ginobili — took a 3-2 lead back to Miami for Game 6, grabbed the highest rating in the series thus far.
Digital minutes across PCs, Xbox and mobile platforms including smartphones and tablets also rose significantly, with users logging more than 67 million minutes during the course of the game.
With each game gaining in importance, it’s not surprising to see the upward trend in the numbers.
Let’s face it: There are only so many people who want to watch reruns of Family Guy and American Dad.
And this series has featured the teams winning alternate games.
But the teams played for much more as well. The storyline changes to Akron’s native son LeBron James and his teammates having their backs against the wall.
But look for many commentators and perhaps even sports columnists to frame this series as a battle between business models, with the Spurs winning with a core of players who have toiled together for years in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker and surrounding them with the necessary talent to be successful versus the Heat’s model of buying a team.
Does it really matter as long as fans get a championship?
Game 6 airs tonight on WEWS (Channel 5) with tipoff at 9 p.m.
Life’s hard knocks
The title of the show certainly fits the Browns since their return to the NFL, so you have to wonder why they’ve yet to appear on the HBO reality series Hard Knocks that normally shows up during training camp.
This time around, the honor of being lauded or embarrassed, depending what happens in a team’s camp, goes to AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals.
HBO made the announcement Monday.
“We are delighted that Hard Knocks will be returning this summer and excited for our return to the AFC North and the Cincinnati Bengals franchise,” said Ken Hershman, president, HBO Sports, in a news release. “With playoff appearances three of the past four seasons, the Bengals have built a terrific young team and we are extremely grateful to both Coach Marvin Lewis and the entire organization for agreeing to participate.”
Then again, given what’s going on with the Browns — no, not Trent Richardson’s inability to practice — but the FBI investigation surrounding the Haslam family company, Pilot Flying J, which Browns owner Jimmy Haslam runs, it might be best to not have coverage at this moment in time.
Pioli gets a gig
Perhaps broadcasting will go better for Scott Pioli than his last job as general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. The man who helmed that team and worked in concert with Bill Belichik to build the New England Patriots landed a job as a contributor to Football Night in America this fall on NBC (WKYC Channel 3). It’s got to be more relaxing than dodging phone calls from reporters and fans.
U.S. Open scores
The U.S. Open golf tournament scored a 6.1 rating, giving the premiere event its second highest rating for an East Coast U.S. Open event since 2007. The tournament, won by Justin Rose, was up 20 percent over the 2011 win at Congressional Country Club, which was the last East Coast U.S. Open. FYI: Rose will deliver the Top Ten on Late Night With David Letterman tonight at 11:30.
George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Zips blog at http://www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.