UPDATE with new stats: The Cleveland Cavaliers’ 30-point victory over the Golden State Warriors last night brought ABC its secon- best NBA Finals Game 3 results since the network started covering in 2003. The lopsided game logged 16.5 million viewers and a 6.1/22 in the demo.
On average through three games in total viewers (17.7 million), the NBA Finals are the second most-watched ever on ABC, behind only 2015, when the first two games in the series went into overtime. As expected, the game catapulted ABC to first place for the night in overall audience (16.5 million) and across each of the key adult demographics. That includes adults 18-34 (5.7/25), 18-49 (6.1/22) and 25-54 (6.5/20).
Airing around the NBA Finals in various time periods across the country, Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night 3 grew year over year for a fifth straight year in total viewers. The broadcast clocked its biggest Game 3 crowd yet: 4M viewers, which is up 5% from last year’s 3.8M. In the demo, last night’s show matched its best ever results. Through its first three broadcasts of 2016, Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night also is up 5%, to an average of 3.9M – its most watched three-night average to date.
PREVIOUS, 10:07 AM: Game 3 of the NBA Finals, in which the Cleveland Cavs whomped the Golden State Warriors 120-90, generated an 11.8 overnight rating. That’s the third highest-rated Game 3 ever on ABC, but the NBA Finals appear to be holding steady as the second highest rated ever on ABC through the three games, averaging a 12.2 overnight rating.
Last night’s Game 3 peaked with a 13.4 in the first quarter of the 10 PM hour. Game 3 is expected to win the night across the TV landscape when time zone-adjusted figures are released.
The Warriors lead the Cavs 2-1 in the series heading to Game 4 on Friday.
The first two games of this year’s NBA Finals averaged 18.3 million viewers — a slip from last year, though the second-most-watched series at the same point that ABC has had since the network snagged the NBA Finals broadcast in 2003.
Last year, Game 3 of the Finals clocked a 7.3/25 rating among adults 18-49 and 18.8 million viewers, which are the best numbers the network has ever had for a Game 3. Those numbers were up 24% in the key demo and 27% among total viewers from previous year’s Game 3.
Overall, the average of the first three games of last year’s NBA Finals tracked as the best performance ever for ABC and the best three-game average viewership since 2001’s Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers matchup.