The Cleveland Cavaliers’ victory against the Golden State Warriors helped ABC score big on the ratings record. Early Nielsen estimates has placed the game at 18.9 in overnight metered market ratings. That number makes the the NBA Finals Game 7 the highest-rated sports broadcast on ABC or ESPN in ten years, and the best ABC has ever scored from an NBA broadcast. It was the most watched finals since 1998 on any TV network, when the Chicago Bulls won over the Utah Jazz, 4 games t0 2.
It wasn’t just high ratings as well, here’s an excerpt of the press release from ESPN:
Last night’s NBA Finals Game 7 is the highest-rated NBA game ever on ABC, drawing an 18.9 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. The telecast, in which the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in an all-time classic – peaked with a 25.5 overnight rating from 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET.
The 18.9 overnight rating for Game 7 is the highest-rated sports telecast on ABC or ESPN in a decade (since 2006). Additionally, last night’s Game 7 was up seven percent from the most recent NBA Finals Game 7 – Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs in 2013 – which drew a 17.7 overnight rating.
The second-highest rated NBA game ever on ABC was Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics in 2010, which drew an 18.2 overnight rating.
The NBA Finals on ABC is expected to win the night across all of television for the 55th consecutive time.
Last night’s Game 7 became the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN across all metrics. It generated 96,276,000 total minutes streamed, 1,760,000 unique viewers and an average minute audience of 598,000 viewers, which is the most for a non-World Cup event ever on WatchESPN.
NBA Finals Game 7 on ABC delivered a 46.3 in the Cleveland market, making it the second-highest rated NBA game ever in the market. In San Francisco, the game generated a 39.4 rating, which also ranks second all-time for an NBA Game.