7:02am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Most-Watched NBA Finals Since 1998 Finish Strong
The most-watched NBA Finals since 1998 wrapped on a high note.
Monday night's Game 5 conclusion of another Warriors-Cavaliers series averaged a strong 24.5 million viewers, after an overnight 16.0 rating among metered market households for ABC, making for a 20 percent lift from Game 5 in 2016. It assured the series as the most-watched five-game NBA Finals ever and the most-watched (on average) since 1998.
Among adults 18-49, the game earned a 9.0 rating. The 2017 Game 5 ultimately fetched 20.5 million viewers and a 7.6 rating among adults 18-49.
These final adjustments from Nielsen secure the series as its most-watched in nearly 20 years, though the series' conclusion won't reach the highs of last year's Game 7. Its 18.9 overnight rating ultimately proved to be a record tune in for the NBA on ABC — 31 million viewers. Through five games, and with minor lifts from streaming, the Finals had been averaging 20.4 million viewers. Average minute streaming has given the games an average digital audience of 408,000 viewers, with Monday's game climbing to 537,000 average minute streaming audience.
For the Golden State Warriors, it marks the franchise's second NBA Championship in just three years.