Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Wheeler, LeBron are ratings hits

From left, Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey watch

From left, Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey watch the action during Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. (June 18, 2013) (Credit: Getty)

Big night in sports Tuesday, even for those of us who had to miss some of it for the high school track and field awards banquet. (Did I mention my daughter set a school record in the pole vault?)

Many people certainly watched. SNY scored its highest Mets rating of the season for Zack Wheeler's first MLB start, averaging 3.23 percent of New York-area homes after entering the night with a season average under 2.0. (This despite some overlap with NBA Finals Game 6.)

(Last July 26, Matt Harvey averaged a 3.46 rating for his MLB debut, BTW.)

Later in the evening, the Heat and Spurs battled through an overtime instant classic on ABC that averaged 14.7 percent of homes in 56 major markets that are measured in overnight ratings.

That's a huge number for a non-NFL game. It was the fourth-highest overnight ever for an NBA game on ABC.

New York ranked 14th with a 16.8 rating, an extremely impressive figure for this market without a local team involved.

(The Yankees' rainout probably helped.)

In San Antonio, 47.6 percent of homes tuned in on average. In Miami, the figure was 35.4.

Solid job as usual conveying it all by ESPN/ABC's Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy, including some late discussion about non-foul calls.

Speaking of which, as hugely entertaining as Game 6 was, it was more evidence of basketball's fatal flaw: A complete randomness in officiating that exceeds anything in other sports.

Sure, pass interference is the bane of football officiating, but in basketball there is randomness on almost every play.

I posted a tweet to this effect after the game that got plenty of mileage - pro and con - thanks to a retweet from Peter King, my fellow former Newsday Giants beat writer, who has about 1 million more followers than me.

I'm right, of course. But it's not my job to convince America that hockey is a better sport than basketball.

Anyway, like I said, there was no disputing the entertainment value of Tuesday's game, and I would watch Game 7 even if it weren't my job.

Meanwhile, back on SNY: The network faced an interesting decision given the gems from both Harvey and Wheeler on Tuesday.

Which game would be re-shown on "fast forward" and which in full replay? SNY went with Harvey for the former, Wheeler for the latter.

Onward: There is a hockey game tonight.

Tags: SNY , ABC , NBA , mets , zack wheeler , matt harvey

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