Wednesday, March 09, 2011

CSN Chicago shutters Bulls’ ratings record – thanks to tiger blood

In case you haven’t heard, the Chicago Bulls have what newly unemployed actor Charlie Sheen says they have – that tiger blood. What does that mean? According to Mr. Sheen, they’re winning!

And what does winning bring boys and girls? Higher ratings!

Comcast SportsNet Chicago – now part of NBCUniversal – hit a winning (yes, winning) basket Monday with the red hot Bulls facing the New Orleans Hornets. On a night with reduced original programming (42 percent of broadcast network schedules were repeats – including CBS’ Two And A Half Men), the Bulls slam-dunked the competition with a 7.2 household rating, with the game peaking at a 10 rating at 9:15 p.m. – ranking it as the most-watched program in the time period.

The game was the most-watched Bulls telecast in Comcast SportsNet's history - regular season or playoff. The previous record (6.3 HH) was set in 2009 for a triple-overtime playoff game against the Boston Celtics.

Comcast SportsNet is part-owned by the Bulls, and has been the team’s local home since the RSN’s inception in 2004. Before that, Bulls games were previously cablecasted on SportsChannel Chicago and Fox Sports Net Chicago, both during the Michael Jordan era. In that time frame, Bulls games often broke ratings records for both networks.

The Bulls pulled off a winning (there’s that word again) performance, defeating the Hornets 85-77, coming off a victory Sunday against LeBron James and the Miami Heat, the first game of an ABC doubleheader. With the victory, the Bulls swept the season series with the Heat 3-0 – a team many predicted would make it to the NBA Finals.

The Bulls – led by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah - now have the second best record in the Eastern Conference, only behind the Celtics.

As for LeQuit James and the Heat… the way things are going now for them (as of this writing, the Heat are on a five-game losing streak), the team just might be joining Charlie Sheen on the beach later this spring while the Bulls, Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs contend for a championship.

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