Press Release

Posted by Ben Cafardo on June 22, 2012

NBA Finals on ABC: Most-Watched and Highest-Rated Five-Game Average Since 2004

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Increases Across ESPN Digital Platforms; Kia NBA Countdown Generates Double-Digit Growth

The 2012 NBA Finals – the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to become NBA Champions – generated the most-watched and highest-rated five-game average for The Finals since 2004 and the second most-watched in ABC history, according to Nielsen.

The Finals averaged 16,855,000 viewers (P2+) and 11,584,000 household impressions, up five percent from 16,084,000 viewers and 11,061,000 household impressions in 2011. The series generated a 10.1 household rating, up six percent compared to a 9.6 last year through five games.

Thursday’s Game 5 broadcast delivered a 10.9 HH rating, 18,461,000 viewers and 12,538,000 household impressions, up 1 percent compared to Game 5 last year (10.8 rating, 18,313,000 viewers and 12,472,000 household impressions).

NBA Finals Game 5 was the highest-rated program of the night and helped ABC win the night among all programs on broadcast and cable. This marks the 30th consecutive time the NBA Finals have led ABC to win the night.

2012 NBA Finals – Top 10 local markets: 1.Oklahoma City (43.8); 2.Miami (33.1); 3.Tulsa (26.9); 4.West Palm Beach (20.1); 5.Cleveland (17.4); 6.Memphis (15.9); 7.New Orleans (14.4); 8.Atlanta (14.2); 9.Chicago (14.1) 10.San Antonio (14.0).

ESPN Digital Media’s average audience during the five game days of the NBA Finals, which includes ESPN.com, ESPN Mobile Web and ESPN’s ScoreCenter app, was 81,504, up from 56,400 in 2011.  The NBA section of ESPN.com saw more than 1.7 million average daily unique visitors spending more than 15 million total minutes on game days during the NBA Finals, up +9 percent and +12 percent, respectively, compared to 2011.

The NBA section of ESPN’s mobile website saw an average of 1.5 million daily uniques on game days, up +24 percent compared to last year, while the NBA card on ESPN’s ScoreCenter app had 984,000 average daily unique visitors on game days, up from 336,000 in 2011.

ESPN3/WatchESPN: Game 5 of The Finals on ABC, live through special simulcasts on ESPN3, logged an average minute audience of 122,251 across computers, smartphones and tablets via WatchESPN and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.  All five games of the NBA Finals averaged 330,000 unique viewers and 17.7 million minutes, with an average minute audience of 105,621 across all ESPN digital platforms. The average live Finals game was up +42 percent for total uniques and up +49 percent for total minutes spent compared to the average of NBA Playoff games on ESPN3 and WatchESPN this season.

Kia NBA Countdown averaged a 3.5 rating and 5,353,000 viewers during The Finals on ABC, which is up 16 percent in rating (vs. 3.0) and 13 percent in viewership (vs. 4,738,000) in 2011. 

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Media contact:  Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or ben.cafardo@espn.com.