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[06/03/16 - 08:54 AM]
Highest-Rated NBA Finals Game 1 Ever on ABC: 13.1 Overnight Rating
ESPN spins the numbers for Thursday, June 2.

[via press release from ESPN]

Highest-Rated NBA Finals Game 1 Ever on ABC: 13.1 Overnight Rating

· Breaks Previous Record Set Last Year

· Most-Watched NBA Game Ever on WatchESPN

· NBA Finals Expected to Win the Night for 49th Consecutive Time

Last night's Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals delivered a 13.1 overnight rating, ABC's highest-rated Game 1 ever according to Nielsen. The telecast, which featured the Golden State Warriors defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, broke the previous record (12.9) achieved last year for the matchup between these same two teams. Additionally, the 13.1 is up 26 percent from Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals (10.4) between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.

It is expected that the NBA Finals will win the night across television for the 49th consecutive time.

The broadcast peaked with a 14.8 rating from 10:45 p.m.-11 p.m. ET.

Most-Watched NBA Game Ever on WatchESPN

Last night's Game 1 was the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN. It delivered an average minute audience of 347,000, more than double (up 111 percent) from last year's Game 1. Additionally, WatchESPN had one million unique viewers (up 48 percent) and 55.9 million minutes streamed (up 92 percent). The previous record for most-watched NBA game was Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals.

Strong Local Market Numbers

Game 1 on ABC delivered a 32.8 rating in the San Francisco market, which is the best NBA Finals Game 1 rating ever on ABC in that market, while Cleveland posted a 36.0 rating, the second-highest Game 1 rating for that market. Top 10 local markets for Game 1 last night:

Market Rating
Cleveland 36.0
San Francisco 32.8
Sacramento 20.2
Columbus 18.9
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 18.8
San Antonio 18.7
Atlanta 16.9
Birmingham 14.5
West Palm Beach 14.4
Houston 14.1

Additionally, NBA Countdown - ABC's NBA Finals pre-game show - generated a 4.7 overnight rating, up two percent from the corresponding show in 2015 (4.6 rating) and up 20 percent from 2014 (3.9).

The NBA Finals will continue with Game 2 on ABC this Sunday, June 5, at 8 p.m. ET. NBA Countdown will precede the broadcast at 7:30 p.m. The game is also available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and via WatchESPN.

NBA Finals Was Most-Watched & Highest-Rated Game 1 Ever on ABC

· 19.2 Million Viewers Tuned in on ABC; 11.1 U.S. Household Rating

· NBA Finals Wins the Night for 49th Consecutive Time

· Game 1 Viewership Records for WatchESPN and ESPN Deportes

A record 19,197,000 viewers watched the Golden State Warriors' victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the largest Game 1 audience ever on ABC for the NBA Finals, according to Nielsen. The ABC viewership eclipsed the previous high of 17,768,000 by eight percent, a mark set last year between these same two teams. Additionally, the viewership number was the biggest audience for a Game 1 on any network since 1998. The game peaked from 10:45-11 p.m. ET with 22,610,000 viewers and a 12.9 rating.

The corresponding 11.1 U.S. household rating also set an ABC Game 1 record, surpassing last year's previous high of 10.6. Furthermore, the 19,197,000 viewers and 11.1 rating marked a 31 and 25 percent increase, respectively compared to the 2014 Game 1 numbers of 14,697,000 and 8.9 (Miami-San Antonio).

For the 49th consecutive time, the NBA Finals propelled ABC to win the night across all of television (broadcast and cable) and across all key demos.

Most-Watched NBA Game Ever on WatchESPN

In addition to the television audience on ABC, last night's Game 1 was the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN. It delivered an average minute audience of 347,000, more than double (up 111 percent) from last year's Game 1. Additionally, WatchESPN had one million unique viewers (up 48 percent) and 55.9 million minutes streamed (up 92 percent). The previous record for most-watched NBA game was Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals.

NBA Finals Game 1 Record on ESPN Deportes

Game 1 of the NBA Finals on ESPN Deportes averaged a 0.6 Hispanic Household Rating with 124,000 total Hispanic viewers, making it the most-watched and highest-rated Game 1 ever on the network.

The NBA Finals will continue with Game 2 on ABC this Sunday, June 5, at 8 p.m. NBA Countdown will precede the broadcast at 7:30 p.m. The game is also available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and via WatchESPN.





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