It’s a slam dunk for ABC
NBA basketball finals were the three most-watched prime-time programs.
Sporting events accounted for the mostwatched programs on four nights last week, while the season finale of the HBO fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” notched an alltime series high.
ABC’s coverage of Games 3, 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals were the three mostwatched prime-time television programs between June 8 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The Golden State Warriors’ 104-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 on Sunday was the week’s most-watched program, averaging 20.86 million viewers. Game 4 on Thursday was second for the week, averaging 19.84 million viewers, and Game 3 on Tuesday was third, averaging 18.77 million viewers.
Through five games, the finals are averaging 19.6 million viewers, the most since 1998, which aired on NBC and was Michael Jordan’s last finals appearance.
The lone Stanley Cup Final game on broadcast television last week was Game 5 on Saturday, and it averaged 5.26 million viewers. That was only 22nd for the week, but it was the night’s most- watched program.
Fox’s coverage of Friday’s 0-0 tie between the U.S. and Sweden averaged 4.49 million viewers, the most for a Women’s World Cup group play game on U.S. television. The game was 40th among the week’s prime-time broadcast and cable programs and gave Fox a second-place finish in the Friday 8-10 p.m. time slot behind the ABC duo of “Shark Tank” and “What Would You Do?” The previous record for a Women’s World Cup group play game was 3.31 million for the U.S.-Australia game four days earlier on cable’s Fox Sports 1.
NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the week’s only program outside the NBA Finals to average more than 9 million viewers, averaging 10.44 million to finish fourth.
The NBA Finals enabled ABC to be the mostwatched network for the second consecutive week, averaging 9.02 million. CBS was second, averaging 5.02 million, followed by NBC, which averaged 4.93 million and Fox, which averaged 3.36 million.
ABC’s most-watched non-basketball program was “The Bachelorette,” 12th for the week averaging 6.37 million viewers.
The week’s mostwatched scripted program was the season finale of “Game of Thrones,” which averaged 8.11 million viewers to finish fifth for the week overall and first among cable programs.