It wasn’t too long ago that the Indiana Pacers were one game away from advancing to the NBA’s Eastern Conference Championship game. Fans everywhere were captivated by a matchup between the seemingly underdog Pacers and a Miami Heat team that was widely viewed as the best team in the league. It was Rocky Balboa vs. you-name-it.
Now, just 6 months later, they were at it again, and the eyes of the NBA world were most definitely upon them. The Tuesday night matchup at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which aired on the league’s NBA TV outlet, set an all-time viewership record.
The NBA’s network reported an average of 920,000 viewers tuned in to watch the Pacers ‘beat the heat,’ with viewership topping out at over 1 million between the hours of 10:15 and 10:30 p.m. EST.
In second place, all-time, was the Lakers-Portland game, which aired on Oct. 31, 2012, and topped out at 868,000 total viewers.
The new record shatters the record previously set for the current season, which came on December 8, 2013, when Kobe Bryant returned for the Lakers to face Toronto. The Raptors beat the Lakers 106-94.
Fox Sports Indiana reported that the Pacers-Heat game was the highest rated regular-season Pacers telecast in its telecasting history.