Comcast SportsNet New England’s coverage of the Boston Celtics’ last-second victory over the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night became the network’s highest-rated regular-season contest ever.
The Nov. 12 contest -- in which Paul Pierce drained a right-wing jumper to give the Celtics a 103-102 win over the Hawks, who pushed the Cs to seven games in the opening round of the 2008 playoffs -- scored a 6.8 household rating, translating into 163,000 households in the Boston DMA, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Throughout New England, the Celts-Hawks contest averaged 245,000 households.
Comcast SportsNet’s previous regular-season high rating was a 5.7 for the Celtics-Detroit Pistons telecast on March 5, 2008.
Pierce’s game-winner was viewed by an estimated 364,000 households in New England, when the audience peaked between 10:15 - 10:30 p.m. In Boston, 245,000 households viewed the decisive bucket as the ratings peaked at a 10.2 household rating, according to Nielsen.
During the final 30 minutes of the cablecast (10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.), the regional sports network had the highest-rated program in Boston with a 10.1 household rating, outpointing the Boston Bruins game on NESN, House on Fox, CSI-NY on CBS and Law & Order on NBC, according to Comcast SportsNet officials.