NBA Finals Kick Off With Biggest Game 1 Ratings in a Decade
Growing year-over-year in viewers and the key demo, the game also sees jumps among mobile and online viewers.
After a so-so showing for the Stanley Cup, interest in the NBA seems to be up. Final time zone-adjusted ratings give the first game between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder a huge win for ABC.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which lasted from 9-11:46 p.m. ET, earned a total of 16.2 million viewers for the network and a 6.9 rating among adults 18-49 -- giving it a significant advantage over its fast affiliate score.
As records go, it was the most-watched finals starter ever for the network and the most-watched across the board since 2001. And compared with last year's initial matchup between the Heat and the Dallas Mavericks, overall viewership is up 7 percent, with young adults increasing 6 percent.
WatchESPN and ESPN's Xbox Live and also posted some successful statistics with streaming simulcasts. Adobe/Omniture places the mobile/tablet/computer viewership at an average of 99,199 viewers every minute -- with 298,795 unique visitors clocking 16.1 million minutes across platforms. The latter number jumped nearly 50 percent from the average playoff game this season.
Game 2 in Oklahoma City airs at 9 p.m. ET Thursday on ABC.