12:46pm PT by Marisa Guthrie
Abbreviated NBA Finals May Depress ABC's Ad Revenue
The Miami Heat trounced the Oklahoma City Thunder in just five games. For NBA Finals MVP LeBron James -- whose team suffered a humiliating Game 6 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in last year's championship series -- it was “about damn time.” But ABC executives probably were hoping for a little more time.
This year’s series averaged about 14 million viewers over four games. And when ratings for Game 5 come in later today, it will no doubt raise that average. But another game -- or two -- would have meant more ad revenue for the network.
In 2011, ABC pulled in $172 million in ad revenue, according to estimates from Kantar Media. And the deciding Game 6 was watched by 23.8 million viewers for an average of more than 17 million viewers over six games.
In 2010 an exciting seven-game NBA Finals in which the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics earned an estimated $180 million in ad revenue for ABC.
That series brought the Lakers franchise its 16th NBA championship, second only to the Celtics’ 17. And Game 7 was watched by a stunning 28.2 million viewers.