Pacers on-court success translates to higher television ratings

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As the Indiana Pacers head toward the playoffs—locked in now as no worse than the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference—more people tuned in this season to watch the team’s games on television.

Pacers telecasts on Fox Sports Indiana are averaging a 3.4 household rating in the Indianapolis market, which equates to 34,000 homes in the metropolitan area tuning in at any given time.

That’s up 19 percent from last season’s rating of 2.9, and just another sign that the team and its players are resonating with fans.

“It’s a credit to Pacers Sports & Entertainment,” Jack Donovan, Fox Sports Indiana general manager and senior vice president, said in an email. “They’ve built an organization that wins, entertains and shines in the community.”

Pacers games also are available via mobile streaming on the Fox Sports Go app, which Fox Sports Indiana launched in the 2014-15 season. The number of unique streamers per game is up a whopping 136 percent over last season, Fox Sports Indiana said, though the affiliate doesn’t disclose exact streaming numbers.

Fox Sports Indiana will televise all 82 regular-season games—only four remain—and will carry first-round playoff action.  

Jamie Berns, vice president of broadcast for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, is elated by the numbers.

“We’re very happy about the increase, and I think it shows that people really, really like this team,” he said. “They’re fun to watch, they play hard every night, and I think people are responding.”

Attendance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, however, is down from last year, according to the National Basketball Association’s attendance report. Through 39 home games this season, the Pacers are averaging 15,970 fans, ranking the team 27th out of 30 and putting the stadium at 87.9 percent capacity. That compares to an average attendance of 16,697 last season, ranking the team 22nd and putting Bankers Life at 91.9 percent capacity.

With just four games left in the regular season, the Pacers stand at 46-32 and likely would face off in the playoffs against the fourth seed, currently the streaking Philadelphia 76ers, winners of 11 straight.

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