Updated: NBA Finals Games One, Two an ABC Slam-Dunk
Games one and two of the NBA Finals propelled ABC to the top spot in primetime ratings Thursday and Sunday nights, respectively.
Game one was a lopsided victory by the Los Angeles Lakers over the visiting Orlando Magic, 100-75, and it also resulted in a lopsided victory for ABC, which beat its closest competition handily—10.1 million viewers versus 7.3 million for CBS and a 4.1 rating for adults 18-49 compared with a 2.4 for Fox. The game generated a 7.8 household rating and drew an average of 13.042 million viewers, marking the highest-rated opening game for the NBA Finals in five years and the second-highest-ever opening game on ABC.
Game two earned an 8.2 fast national rating Sunday night, with the Lakers prevailing 101-96 in overtime. ABC topped the night with an average of 14 million viewers for the game and 10.3 million overall. The numbers were 4% higher than game two last season, 64% higher than the same game the previous season, and the second-highest in the network’s seven-year history with the NBA. ABC topped CBS, NBC and Fox combined for adults 18-49, posting a 4.2 rating compared with a combined 4.0 for the other three networks.
Game three will take place in Orlando, FL, Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, with GMC NBA Countdown tipping off ABC’s coverage at 8:30 p.m.