Pacers TV ratings increase even as attendance dips

The Indiana Pacers’ home attendance declined about 5 percent this year compared to last year, making the franchise last in the 30-team National Basketball Association, but television ratings for the team’s games on Fox Sports Indiana were up significantly over last year.

Television viewership for Pacers games on Fox Sports increased 35 percent this year over last, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research.

The 72 regular-season games on Fox Sports averaged a 2.1 rating, meaning more than 22,500 central Indiana homes tuned in. That represents the highest average rating for Pacers’ games since the 2005-2006 season, according to Nielsen. That season was the last time the Pacers made the playoffs before their return this year.

Ratings for the Pacers’ live pre-game show increased 16 percent, and the post-game show ratings increased 63 percent over last season.

Fox Sports also televised game three of the Pacers-Bulls first round playoff game, which earned a 6.5 rating, which equates to 69,700 households.

“The buzz is back, and we and the fans have great expectations for 2011-2012,” said Fox Sports spokesman Geoff Goldman.

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