NBA Fi­nals are win-win for ABC

Los Angeles Times - - POP MUSIC - City news ser­vice

The largest view­er­ship for Game 3 of the NBA Fi­nals since 1988 and a Sun­day game show strat­egy that bested the Tony Awards has put ABC in the prime-time win­ner’s cir­cle for the sec­ond week in a row.

The back-to-back rat­ings vic­to­ries were the net­work’s first since it won three con­sec­u­tive weeks dur­ing the 2016 NBA Fi­nals. ABC’s only win be­tween the 2016 and 2017 fi­nals was the week it aired the Os­cars.

The net­work av­er­aged 6.76 mil­lion view­ers for its prime-time pro­gram­ming be­tween June 5 and Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to live-plus-same­day fig­ures re­leased by Nielsen on Tues­day, fol­lowed by NBC with 5.5 mil­lion, CBS with 4.81 mil­lion and Fox with 2.07 mil­lion.

The Golden State War­riors’ 118-113 win over the Cleveland Cava­liers in Game 3 of the NBA Fi­nals on June 7 was the week’s most­watched prime-time pro­gram, av­er­ag­ing 20.1 mil­lion view­ers. Cleveland’s 137-116 vic­tory in Game 4 on Fri­day was sec­ond for the week, av­er­ag­ing 19.01 mil­lion view­ers. The fi­nals’ four-game av­er­age of 19.37 mil­lion was the largest since the 1998 se­ries be­tween the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz, Michael Jor­dan’s last fi­nals ap­pear­ance, which aired on NBC.

Each el­e­ment of ABC’s Sun­day game show block — “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Steve Har­vey’s Thun­der­dome” and “The $100,000 Pyra­mid” — beat CBS’ cov­er­age of the 71st Tony Awards in their time slots.

View­er­ship for the Tonys dropped 30.6% from last year to 6.05 mil­lion view­ers, 13th for the week, nine slots lower than a year ago. The 2016 cer­e­mony, boosted by na­tional in­ter­est in the fate of “Hamil­ton,” av­er­aged 8.72 mil­lion view­ers, its most since 2001.

The Tony Awards also trailed NBC’s cov­er­age of Game 6 of the Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal, which av­er­aged 6.99 mil­lion view­ers, eighth for the week, op­po­site the Tony Awards in the East­ern and Cen­tral time zones. View­er­ship was up 29.2% from the 5.41 mil­lion av­er­age from Game 6 of the 2016 Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal. are the com­bined rank­ings for na­tional prime-time net­work and ca­ble tele­vi­sion from June 5-11 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.

Kyle Terada Pool / Getty Im­ages

GAME 3 of NBA Fi­nals was week’s most-watched prime-time pro­gram, av­er­ag­ing 20.1 mil­lion view­ers.

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