Based on fast national ratings, Game 5 of the best-of-seven NBA Finals on ABC – the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics – last night, Sunday, June 15, averaged 17,257,000 viewers (P2+), an increase of 21 percent compared to Game 5 in 2006 (there was no Game 5 last year), which averaged 14,318,000 viewers for Dallas at Miami. The Lakers/Celtics game averaged 11,393,000 households, an increase of 13 percent over 10,049,000 households in 2006, and a 10.1 rating, up 11 percent over a 9.1 in 2006. It was the most-watched NBA Finals Game since Game 7 of 2005 (18,997,000 viewers).
Through five broadcasts, the 2008 NBA Finals are averaging a 9.0 rating, up 45 percent over the four-game series last year (6.2).
Los Angeles avoided elimination with a 103-98 victory that sends the series back to Boston for Game 6 with the Celtics leading 3-2 on ABC tomorrow, Tuesday, June 17 Coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. with GMC NBA Countdown at 8:30 p.m. The games are also heard nationally on ESPN Radio.
For the fifth consecutive broadcast, the NBA Finals sparked ABC to “win the night” among all television networks. The NBA Finals averaged more homes and viewers than any other show, with ABC winning primetime overall among all networks. Game 5 was the most-watched program on television since the season finale of American Idol (May 21). Excluding the Academy Awards evenings, ABC garnered its highest Sunday numbers across key male demographics in more than two years (best since February 6, 2006 (Super Bowl XL) in Men 18-34; and best since March 12, 2006 in Men 18-49 and Men 25-54.
Additionally, viewership peaked in the 11:30 p.m. to midnight (8:30 – 9 p.m. PT) half hour. Following are half-hour household rating details:
Broadcast half-hours (all times ET) HH Rating
9:04-9:30 p.m. 7.6
9:30-10 p.m. 9.1
10-10:30 p.m. 9.3
10:30-11 p.m. 10.0
11-11:30 p.m. 11.2
11:30-11:55 p.m. 12.5