TV Ratings: Strong Numbers for Toronto Raptors' NBA Title Clincher

Game 6 of the series nearly matches the series-high preliminary ratings for Monday's fifth contest.
Ezra Shaw/ Getty images

The Toronto Raptors' first-ever NBA championship gave ABC strong ratings Thursday night, ending the six-game series with a second straight big showing.

After a soft first four games in the ratings — owing in part to having one of the teams involved outside the United States and therefore not measured by Nielsen — the audience spiked for Game 5 on Monday. Thursday's broadcast nearly matched it, drawing a 13.2 household rating in metered markets (vs. 13.4 for Game 5).

In the final ratings, Game 6 came in at 18.34 million viewers, slightly ahead of Monday's 18.22 million viewers.

Thursday's game will likely come in below the last four times the NBA Finals had a sixth game (2016, 2015, 2013 and 2011), all of which drew better than 20 million viewers.

The NBA Finals averaged 15 million viewers for the series, down about 15 percent year to year — due in part to the Raptors playing in Canada, whose audience isn't measured by Nielsen. The series has been setting ratings records for NBA games in that country. It's also the least-watched Finals since 2009, when the Los Angeles Lakers' 4-1 series win over the Orlando Magic averaged 14.35 million viewers.

Elsewhere Thursday, CBS got steady ratings from Life in Pieces (0.6 rating in adults 18-49, 4.3 million viewers) and Elementary (0.5, 3.8 million), as the network finished second to ABC in primetime.

AP Bio (0.4 and 0.3 for two episodes) and Abby's (0.3) finished their runs on NBC. Fox got a 0.5 (pending updates) from primetime coverage of the U.S. Open golf championship's first round. The CW's iZombie (0.2) and In the Dark (0.1) were steady.

ABC averaged a 4.2 rating in adults 18-49, pending updates for its live broadcast, lapping the field. CBS was second at 0.6, followed by Fox at 0.5. NBC drew a 0.3 and The CW a 0.2. 

Bookmark THR.com/Ratings for more ratings news and numbers.

June 14, 1:35 p.m. Updated with final NBA ratings.