The Orlando Magic’s opening games are the highest rated television run since Dwight Howard left the team after the 2012 season.
While the Orlando Magic may be off to a slow start with a 1-4 record, the Magic are off to a great start in the first five games when it comes to TV viewership.
The Magic’s first five games of the season has been the most watched stretch of Magic basketball on Fox Sports Florida since March 16-April 1, 2012.
— FOX Sports Magic (@FOXSportsMagic) November 6, 2015
The highlights of the five game stretch included Tuesday night’s Orlando Magic win over the New Orleans Pelicans, which produced a 1.73 TV rating according to Fox Sports Florida. A number reminiscent for a season opener rather than an early season Tuesday game.
The Magic home opener against the Wizards was the second-highest Fox Sports Florida rating for a Magic game since the start of last season, according to Nielsen. The Magic’s game on Tuesday comes in third in that span.
Tuesday night’s win, which marked Magic coach Scott Skiles’ first win with the team, was the most watched sporting event of the night in Orlando.
During the five-game stretch the Magic host Oklahoma City in a game that went double overtime and is one of the best Magic games ever played since the Amway Center opened in 2010.
It is a positive sign for the Magic and Fox Sports Florida who agreed on a lucrative 10-year contract extension back in October 2013, making the network the team’s regional television rights-holder through the 2026 season.
It was Dwight Howard’s last season with the Magic, which was full of drama on and off the court with Howard’s future in question at the time. It would also be the last season for Magic’s head coach Stan Van Gundy as the Magic would lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Indiana Pacers.
The games during that stretch was on March 16 which was a day after the NBA trade deadline. Howard signed agreed not to exercise his early termination option to his contract, waiving his right to opt out at the end of the season and committing to stay with the Magic through the 2013 season. He had previously asked to be traded to the New Jersey Nets, and the Magic were prepared to trade him had Howard not signed the amendment to avoid losing him as a free agent.
Dwight Howard had announced he was staying with the the Magic and they defeated the New Jersey Nets at Amway Center in Howard’s first home game since agreeing to stay with the Magic.
March 18 was a Magic road game at Miami against the eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat. March 19 was one of low moments of the Magic season as the Magic got embarrassed by the Chicago Bulls 85-59 at home in front of a TNT audience.
Other games during this stretch included wins over the Phoenix Suns on March 21, the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 23 and at the Toronto Raptors on March 26.
The stretch ended with three straight losses at the Knicks on March 28, March 30 vs the Dallas Mavericks, and April 1 against the Denver Nuggets.
Magic fans may remember April 5 as an infamous day in franchise history as Stan Van Gundy told the local media during shootaround prior to a TNT game vs the Knicks that Dwight Howard wanted him fired.
This season all the drama has been on the court with close exciting finishes which has brought Orlando viewers back to watching the Magic product and perhaps excited once again about the Magic.
The interest though appears to be back in Orlando.