Taking down the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals in the Massachusetts metropolis last night, the Golden State Warriors cemented their dynasty with their fourth championship in the past decade.
Now well ensconced in the pantheon of basketball, the big win for Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and their teammates, plus coach Steve Kerr may be all the sweeter after the past two seasons when it looked like the shine was off the Bay Area team. Celebrating with trophy in hand on the floor of the TD Garden in Boston on Thursday, the Warriors and New England born team bosses Peter Guber and Joe Lacob were gleaming with pride and exhilaration.
Having weathered rough ratings seas over the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, ABC must be feeling pretty victorious, at least in the short term. They had the most watched show of Thursday’s primetime, the top rated (4.3/38) show among the valued 18-49 demographic and they won the night.
Hitting a 2022 NBA Finals high, last night’s almost three-hour primetime Game 6 scored 13.99 million viewers for the Disney-owned network.
Now, like most of this year’s b-ball championship series, that’s actually good news and bad news for ABC and the NBA. The upside is that last night’s Game 6 audience saw a rise of almost 12% from the viewership for the pandemic protocol heavy Game 6 of July 20 last year when the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 to secure their own championship. Also, as one would expect, Game 6’s TV crowd was up from June 13’s Game 5 – though honestly the 7% bop was less than expected.
The real downside is, as has been the apples-to-apples case throughout the Finals this year, Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals fell a harsh 24% in viewership from the pre-pandemic Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 13 that year. What makes that drop even more vinegar is that the 2019 series saw the losing Warriors pitted against the NBA’s only non-American based team, the Toronto Raptors. So, while the 2019 NBA Finals were off the chart in the Great White North, they were already limping from having only one U.S. market to draw from.
Overall, the 2019 Finals averaged around 15 million sets of eyeballs, a number that the 2022 NBA Finals has no chance of catching up to.
Still, for the Warriors, the win is the win and victory clearly tastes good in the night, and on the flight home.
Bay Area, we’re bringing home the hardware 🏆 pic.twitter.com/uKfkpr78Ex
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 17, 2022
Check out all of the primetime results from Nielsen for last night in our chart:
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