NBA Finals Game 5 Draws 20.5M Viewers; Steady With 2015 – Update


UPDATE, 2:20 PM: Last night the Cleveland Cavaliers scored with a 112-97 win over the Golden State Warriors, and now it’s ABC’s turn with the final ratings numbers in for Game 5, securing its place as the biggest game yet for the 2016 NBA finals. Pretty much like last year’s Game 5, the telecast drew 20.5 million viewers. The broadcast picked up a tenth in the key demo with a 7.6, rating up from last year’s  7.5. Jimmy Kimmel also was a winner. Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night snared its biggest audience ever for a Game Night 5 with 4.6M.

PREVIOUS, 8:10 AM: It could have all been over and the Golden State Warriors could have been taking home their second NBA Finals championship in a row last night but the Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t having that. With a 112-97 win over the Bay Area team, Lebron James and teammates roared back in Monday’s Game 5 to deny the Warriors that victory and push everything to a Game 6. All of which worked out very well for ABC and the NBA, very well indeed.

With a 14.2 rating in metered market results, last night’s NBA Finals Game 5 hit a high for the 2016 series. The previous high in the early numbers was the 13.1 that the Warriors winning Game 1 scored on June 2. While matching last year’s Game 5 result in MM numbers, last night’s game peaked with a huge 16.2 rating in the closing 11:30 – 11:45 PM ET slot. That means last night matched the best Game 5 on ABC since the 15.5 MM rating that the Detroit Pistons’ clincher over the L.A. Lakers snared in 2004. Compared to June 11’s Game 4, last night’s MM results were up 18%.

Adding to that, last night saw a pretty full schedule on the rest of the Big 4 and the CW with the debut of Braindead on CBS, American Ninja Warrior and the premiere of Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge on NBC and So You Think You Can Dance on Fox. However, on June 14 last year, the Warriors and Cavs last Game 5 faced the Season 5 finale of HBO’s blockbuster Game Of Thrones that Sunday – which drew 8.1 million viewers and 4.1 rating among adults 18-49.

Game 5 of the 2015 NBA Finals went on to snag a 7.5 rating among the key demo and 20.5 million total viewers – up double digits over a comparative game of the year before.

We’ll update with more NBA Finals ratings and the rest of last night later. Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals is set for June 16 in Cleveland.

UPDATE, MONDAY, 8:45 AM: Hitting its best Monday result since March 22, 2010, ABC beat all the other Big 4 networks and the CW put together among adults 18-49 last night with a 5.1/7 rating – fueled by Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Monday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday scored a 6.0/19 in affiliate numbers and 16.15 million total viewers between 9 – 11 PM ET. That’s pretty steady with the 6.2/20 and 16.86 million overall viewers that Game 5 of the 2015 NBA Finals drew last year on June 14, a Sunday.

Last year’s Game 5 went up to a 7.5 rating and 20.5 million viewers in the final numbers – the second most watched NBA Finals Game 5 ABC has had since the net started showing the series back in 2003. Earlier last night, Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night (3.0/11) and NBA Countdown (3.5/12) opened the night strong for the Disney-owned network.

Opening strong cannot be said for CBS’s Braindead (0.7/2), which was the net’s only original of the night. The low start for the satire from Good Wife creators Robert King and Michelle King was down 41% from the debut of Zoo on June 30 last year, the last comparable summer start for CBS.

With American Ninja Warrior (1.9/6) rising 12% from last week to hit a demo season high, NBC got a nice launch for Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge. On the obviously competitive night, the new show was up 25% over the May 25, 2015 premiere of The Island in the same slot, also with an ANW lead-in. At 8 PM Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (0.8/3) was down 20% from its June 6 show, when it faced the Stanley Cup Finals. Lead-out Houdini & Doyle (0.4/1) fell 33% in the demo from last week. The CW’s Reign (0.3/1) was even with last week as was Whose Line Is It Anyway? (0.4/1)

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