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LeBron James’ return to Cleveland draws big ratings

12.03.10 at 2:48 pm ET

LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland drew big TV ratings Thursday night, according to TNT. The game drew a 5.0 overnight TV rating, besting the 4.1 overnight rating for the NFL Network’s telecast of the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Houston Texans by 22 percent.

The NBA game averaged a huge 25.4 overnight rating in the Cleveland TV market, compared to 14.9 in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. Nation ratings peaked at 6.7 from 8:15-8:30 p.m, then declined as the Heat took control. The pregame show from 8-8:11 p.m ET outdrew the game itself, pulling a 5.9 rating.

Despite the high-rating, the game did not beat out the first Celtics-Heat matchup. Darren Rovell tweets that the Heat-Cavs drew 7.05 million viewers, while the Celtics contest drew 7.3 million viewers. Headline Planet adds the game couldn’t outpace the season opener’s 5.6 rating.

Read More: Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Rumor Mill