NBA Finals Delivers Largest Game 1 Audience Ever on ABC with Record 17.8 Million Viewers
A record 17,768,000 viewers (P2+) watched the Golden State Warriors' victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, making it the largest audience for an NBA Finals Game 1 ever on ABC, according to Nielsen. The broadcast peaked from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET with nearly 22 million viewers (21,931,000).
The audience for last night's Game 1 was up 21 percent from 14,697,000 viewers for last year's corresponding game (San Antonio-Miami).
Additionally, for the 43rd consecutive time, the NBA Finals propelled ABC to win the night across all of television (broadcast and cable) and across all key demos. The NBA Finals on ABC more than doubled its competition on television Thursday night.
Game 1 generated a record 10.6 U.S. household rating, which makes it the highest-rated NBA Finals Game 1 ever on ABC. It peaked with a 13.0 rating from 11:30-11:45 p.m. The rating is up 24 percent from an 8.9 for last year's Game 1.
NBA Finals on ESPN3
NBA Finals Game 1 on ESPN3 delivered a record 677,669 unique viewers, which is up 117 percent from Game 1 in 2014.
The NBA Finals will continue with Game 2 on ABC this Sunday, June 7, at 8 p.m. ET. NBA Countdown will precede the broadcast at 7:30 p.m. For more details on ABC's and ESPN's NBA Finals coverage, visit ESPN Media Zone.
Quick Take for Thursday, June 4, 2015
(National Live + Same Day Program Ratings)
ABC Dominates Thursday with Coverage of the 2015 NBA Finals Game 1,
Generating its Strongest Performance on the Night in Nearly 2 Years
"Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night" Posts Big Gains Over its Late-Night Averages
Cavaliers-Warriors 2015 NBA Finals Game 1 Overshadows Primetime,
Ranking as Thursday's No. 1 Show and as TV's Biggest Telecast Since April
The Finals Spikes by Double Digits Year to Year
To Deliver the Most-Watched Game 1 in 14 Years
Thursday Primetime (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
Featuring primetime coverage of the 2015 NBA Finals Game 1 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, ABC shot to the top of Thursday night, outdistancing its nearest competitor by 6.8 million viewers (12.5 million vs. 5.7 million - CBS) and topping the other nets' combined by 55% in Adults 18-49 (4.8/18 vs. 3.1/12 - CBS, NBC, Fox and CW).
· In viewers and young adults, the Net marked in its strongest Thursday in nearly 2 years - since 6/20/13.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night 1" (Various Time Periods)
Airing around the NBA Finals in various time periods across the country, "Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night 1" broadened the exposure for the ABC late-night talker in primetime. On average, "Kimmel Game Night" was up 31% in Total Viewers (3.8 million vs. 2.9 million) and 83% in Adults 18-49 (1.1/5 vs. 0.6/3) over the show's 2014-15 season averages in late-night. In fact, ABC's "Kimmel" just wrapped its most-watched season ever with its 5th straight year of growth in late-night.
"NBA Finals on ABC Game 1" (9:00 - 11:57 p.m. E.T.)
Game 1 of the Cavaliers-Warriors 2015 NBA Finals on ABC overshadowed its primetime competition and finished as Thursday's definitive No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (17.8 million) and across each of the key Adult demographics: A18-34 (6.8/29), A18-49 (6.9/25) and A25-54 (7.2/22). Golden State won the opening game of the series in overtime by a score of 108-100 to lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. The NBA Finals also stood as Thursday's most-social TV telecast with 3,079,371 tweets.
· Game 1 surged by double digits year to year in Total Viewers (+19% - 17.8 million vs. 14.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (+15% - 6.9/25 vs. 6.0/20), marking the most-watched-ever start for The Finals on ABC - ABC began carriage in 2003. In fact it was the biggest overall audience for Game 1 of The Finals in 14 years - since the 2001 Lakers-76ers matchup on NBC. In Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34, it equaled the 2nd-highest Game 1 numbers on ABC.
· Among Total Viewers and across all key Adult demos, the 2015 NBA Finals Game 1 was TV's No. 1 telecast since the early April - since 4/6/15.
Source: The Nielsen Company, National, Live + Same Day Program Ratings for 06/04/15. Nielsen Socialguide 06/04/15, Total Tweets +/- 3hrs during telecast.