NBA Finals put ABC on the board
The unprecedented pair of overtime games helped the opening two games of the NBA Finals on ABC average its largest audience since the 2001 Finals that aired on NBC.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ 95-93 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 on Sunday was the mostwatched prime-time program from June 1 through Sunday, averaging 19.17 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen. The audience was the largest for a finals Game 2 since 1998, when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls faced the Utah Jazz in a series televised by NBC.
Golden State’s 108-100 victory in Game 1 Thursday was second for the week, averaging 17.77 million viewers.
NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the week’s only other program to average more than 9 million viewers, averaging 10.84 million.
The NBA Finals led ABC to be the most-watched network for the first time since the week of Feb. 16-22, when it aired the Oscars.
CBS was second, averaging 5.87 million viewers, followed by NBC, which averaged 5.34 million, and Fox, which averaged 3.03 million.
CBS’ coverage of the Tony Awards was 13th for the week, averaging 6.46 million viewers, its smallest audience since 2012. Here are the combined rankings for national prime-time network and cable television last week (June 1-7) as compiled by Nielsen. They are based on the average number of people who watched a program from start to finish during its scheduled telecast or on a playback device the same day. Nielsen estimates there are 289 million potential viewers in the U.S. ages 2 and older. Viewership is listed in millions.