7:02am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: NBA Finals Pull 31 Million Viewers, Biggest Audience Since Jordan
Game 7 of the NBA Finals was a nail-biter and has the ratings to prove it. The Cleveland Cavaliers' first-ever championship came down to the buzzer in a tight match against the Golden State Warriors in what stands as the highest-rated basketball game of the century.
With updated Nielsen returns, Game 7 scored a massive 30.8 million viewers. That follows the record-breaking 18.9 rating among metered market households that arrived earlier on Monday and stands as the biggest showing ABC has ever had for a NBA game since the network started broadcasting the league back in 2003.
Sunday's game marks the most-watched and highest-rated NBA Finals game since 1998. That year saw the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz battle in the highest-rated NBA game in TV history, coinciding with Michael Jordan's last game in his storied career with the Bulls.
In the demos, Sunday's game averaged a 11.2 rating among adults 18-49 and a 11.7 rating among adults 25-54. Among adults 18-49, its the biggest telecast of the year since February's Super Bowl.
It has been three years since the NBA Finals went to a Game 7 and this showing, also featuring star Lebron James, was up 7 percent from the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs match-up in 2013. It also bested the previous high, a 18.2 household rating, set in 2011.
The 2016 NBA Finals averaged 20.2 million viewers.