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Everyone is watching

If you thought the playoffs have been a bit more compelling this season than in recent history, well, you're not alone. From today's Detroit News:

Wednesday's Game 5 of the Pistons-Heat series was the highest-rated NBA game and overall basketball game (men's/women's, college/pro) in ESPN history.

The game drew a 5.5 rating, equaling 4.99 million homes viewing the game. The previous high also was held by the Pistons, a 5 rating and 4.4 million homes for Game 6 of the 2004 Eastern Conference finals series against the Pacers.

ESPN's ratings for the 2006 NBA playoffs are up across the board in all rounds, up 23 percent from last year.

Record ratings [Detroit News, via O]