NBA Finals Game 2 Hits Record 18.8M Viewers For ABC – Update

2ND UPDATE, 12:18 PM: The Cavaliers got a win in the final seconds of Sunday night’s game against Golden State, and ABC is hitting nothing but 3-pointers with this year’s NBA Finals. The final ratings from Game 2 are in: 18.8 million tuned in to last night’s overtime thriller from 8-11:24 PM, with a 7.3 rating in the key demo. That’s up 26% from last year’s Game 2 in total viewers and 24% in the demo, and marks the best Game 2 result ABC has seen since the network began carrying the series in 2003. The latest slam-dunk comes after Game 1 on Thursday, which also went into overtime, snagged an audience of 17.8 million viewers with a 6.9/25 rating, the most-watched Game 1 ever on ABC.

Heading into Game 3 tomorrow in Cleveland, the 2015 NBA Finals is on average up 24% in viewers and 20% in adults 18-49 over last year. How big was last night’s game? Well, with the court battle and its lead-up shows, ABC had 140% more of the demo of all the other Big 4 networks put together with a 5.3/18 to their combined 2.2/7. That’s game on.

The Tony Awards were down double digits nationally from last year last night but in the home of Broadway, things were looking up. Among adults 18-49, Sunday’s broadcast of the awards ceremony on NYC’s WCBS were up 44% from last year with a 3.6 rating. That is the best the Tonys have done in its hometown in 3-years.

UPDATE, 9:15 AM: It was an up-and-down ride for the big tickets of Sunday’s primetime with the Tony Awards (0.9/3) taking a blow in fast nationals. Once again facing competition from Game 2 of the NBA Finals (6.1/19), Broadway’s’ big night fell 25% among adults 18-49 from last year. While last year’s Tony ratings saw no change in later numbers, there is a chance that an adjustment could occur. However, as it is, last night’s Tony Awards result is the all-time low for the ceremony.

The same cannot be said for the second overtime battle between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. Fast nationals for the second game of this year’s series were up, up and up: The Cavs’ 95-93 victory grew 9% among the key demo from the early numbers of Thursday’s record-breaking Game 1, up 22% from the fast nationals for last year’s Game 2, and  up 2% against the final numbers for the second game of the 2014 NBA Finals. While an adjustment is expected, right now the 15.62 million who watched last night’s game is up 3.23% from the final viewership of last year’s Game 2 between the winning Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs on June 8, 2014.

Before the game, the rest of ABC’s night saw Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night (2.7/11) up 23% from last year’s early numbers and NBA Countdown (3.4/13) rise 48% from its 2014 fast nationals. Like the game, expect these numbers to change in later ratings.

Against the NBA and the Tonys, it was no surprise that Fox’s already soft Golan The Insatiable (0.4/1) was down from last week’s debut – off 33% in the demo. They didn’t have Miss USA this year, but NBC ran a full night of programming last night. The network opened with a double shot of Dateline at 7 PM (0.7/3) and 8 PM (1.0/3), which were down 30% from last week in the first hour and even in the second. Freshman dramas A.D. The Bible Continues (0.7/2) and American Odyssey (0.4/1) fell 22% and 20%, respectively, to hit their lows in preliminary numbers.

PREVIOUS, 7 AM: The quote of the night had to be “Your Majesty, you did it again.” That was Helen Mirren at the 69th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday upon winning Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Audience. It was also what some might say about King (LeBron) James and the Cleveland Cavaliers as they eked out a 95-93 win last night in Game 2 of the 2015 NBA Finals – another very dramatic match up against the Golden State Warriors that saw the first two games of the b-ball championship series go in to overtime for the first time ever.

Once again, the competitive night saw the basketball game up against Broadway’s big night and once again the NBA scored. The NBA Finals Game 2 got a 12.9/22 in metered market results – that’s up 26% from when LeBron and the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals. It is also the best a NBA Game 2 has done since 1998 in MM results and, hence, the best a Game 2 has ever done on ABC since they started showing the series back in 2003. The previous Game 2 high on ABC was the 12.3 that the L.A. Lakers and the Detroit Pistons snagged back in 2004.

Despite the star power of appearances from the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Bradley Cooper, the numbers weren’t up for the Tonys but they didn’t take a real hit either. Hosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming, the 3-hour Radio City Music Hall shindig on CBS scored a 5.1/8 in metered market ratings. On a night coming off what was a ratings slam dunk and a nail bitter of a NBA Finals Game 1 on June 4 and the anticipation of Game 2, the Tonys held their own and were basically steady with last year’s MM results, with just an 8% dip.

We’ll update later with more ratings, however, in the meantime, here’s some Tony math. Even with 2013, the 2014 Tony Awards ended up getting an 1.2/4 ratings among adults 18-49 last year up against the 6.0/18 that Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals drew and the 1.4/4 of the Miss USA pageant on NBC. With 7.05 million watching, the Tonys were down just a touch from the 7.3 million that tuned in the year before. In some NBA math, the hometowns of both teams playing last night hit local MM records with a 42.1 rating in the Cleveland area and a 31.7 in the Bay Area market.

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