NBA Finals Game 2 Gets 17.4M Viewers, 2nd Most Watched Game 2 Ever For ABC – Update


UPDATE, 11:15 AM: The Golden State Warriors are up 2-0 over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, and ABC is holding pretty steady to near-record-breaking numbers — even with last night’s blowout at Oakland’s Oracle Arena.

Game 2 of this year’s basketball showdown Sunday brought in 17.4 million viewers and a 6.5 rating among adults 18-49. Down 10% in the demo from the Cavs-winning Game 2 of last year and this year’s Game 1, last night’s court battle is the second-most-watched Game 2 ever on ABC – after, you got it, last year. And it is a tight race, with the June 5 game dipping just 8% in total audience from the June 7, 2015, game.

No tight race for Golden State at this point – with a 33-point win over the Cavs, the defending champs now hold the record for the biggest NBA Finals Game 2 margin of victory ever. Also, for the math fans, last night’s game peaked with 19.4 million viewers from 10-10:15 PM ET.

Overall, the first two games of this year’s NBA Finals are averaging 18.3 million viewers. That’s a slip from last year, bu they are the second-most-watched Games 1 and 2 of the series ABC has had since they started showing the NBA Finals in 2003.

Game 3 is Wednesday in Cleveland.

PREVIOUS, 7:37 AM: There was nothing but competition on primetime last night as Game 2 of the NBA Finals saw the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-77 on ABC and Miss USA crowned on Fox.

Unlike last year, there was no Tony Awards facing the NBA matchup and unlike 2015, Lebron James and the Cavs did not come back to win the game in overtime. In fact, the Warriors’ rout is likely why this year’s Game 2 was down slightly from last year’s battle between the same two teams on June 7, 2015. With a 11.8/20 in metered market results, last night’s 8-10:30 PM ET blowout was down 9% from what the 2015 Game 2 drew when the Cavs won 95-93. That makes the June 5 game the third highest-rated NBA Finals Game 2 since ABC began showing the series in 2003.

The best Game 2 ABC has had was last year, which ended up delivering a 7.3 rating among adults 18-49 with 18.8 million total viewers. That was up 26% from 2014’s Game 2 in total viewers and 24% in the demo. We’ll update with more 2016 NBA Finals numbers later, but for the time being, here’s some numbers to consider: last night’s game peaked with a 13.2 rating from 9-9:15 PM ET and again from 10-10:15. Game 2 of the 2016 NBA Finals was down 10% from June 2’s MM ratings – so steady all round.

Steady was not the term you’d use for the debut of Miss USA on Fox last night. The once Donald Trump-owned pageant, which was sold to WME | IMG in September, drew a 2.8/5 metered market rating. The three-hour ceremony saw Deshauna Barber, an Army Reserve officer and IT analyst from the District of Columbia, win the crown. However, when compared to the last time Miss USA was shown on a Big 4 net in 2014, the 2016 pageant was down 22% in MM results.

After legal action and controversy over remarks Trump made about immigrants, the 2015 pageant was yanked off NBC and ended up on Reelz Channel. That last-minute broadcast drew the pageant’s lowest-ever audience of less than 1 million viewers. The 2014 broadcast on NBC had 5.56 million viewers on June 8, 2014.

With the exception of originals Dateline and 60 Minutes plus the end of Game of Silence, NBC and CBS were encores last night.

UPDATE, 8:45 AM: Everything will likely be adjusted in the final ratings later today, but right now in fast affiliate numbers, last night’s NBA Finals blowout win at home by the Golden State Warriors 110-77 over the Cleveland Cavaliers scored a 5.5/17 rating among adults 18-49 with 14.34 million viewers overall between 8 – 10:30 PM ET

Like in metered market numbers earlier today, that’s pretty steady with Game 2 of the 2015 NBA Finals when the Cavs pulled off a 95-93 win in OT. Last night’s game was only down 10% from last year in the key demo. That 2015 result went up to a 7.3 rating in the final numbers with 18.8 million watching – to be the best Game 2 result ever for ABC since they started showing the series in 2003. Compared to Game 1 on June 2, last nights game was down 8% among the 18-49 in early results. That Warriors winning match-up rose to a 7.3 rating with 19.2 million tuning in.

Pre-game programming of Jimmy Kimmel: Game Night (2.4/10) and NBA Countdown (2.5/9) were down 11% and 26% from 2015. Still, ABC won the night with a 4.5/15 rating and 11.88 million viewers

NBC’s end to the now cancelled Game of Silence (0.6/2) was up 20% in the demo over its last original of June 2. A Dateline: On Assignment (0.5/2) at 7 PM was up 25% in 18-49s over last week. CBS’s 60 Minutes (0.8/3) was up two-tenths over last week.

On Fox now, the Miss USA pageant took a 15% drop from its 2014 airing on NBC – the last time it was on a Big 4 broadcaster.

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