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NBA Finals Delivers Largest Game 1 Audience Ever on ABC with Record 17.8 Million Viewers


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A record 17,768,000 viewers (P2+) watched the Golden State Warriors’ victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, making it the largest audience for an NBA Finals Game 1 ever on ABC, according to Nielsen. The broadcast peaked from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET with nearly 22 million viewers (21,931,000).

The audience for last night’s Game 1 was up 21 percent from 14,697,000 viewers for last year’s corresponding game (San Antonio-Miami).

Additionally, for the 43rd consecutive time, the NBA Finals propelled ABC to win the night across all of television (broadcast and cable) and across all key demos.  The NBA Finals on ABC more than doubled its competition on television Thursday night.

Game 1 generated a record 10.6 U.S. household rating, which makes it the highest-rated NBA Finals Game 1 ever on ABC.  It peaked with a 13.0 rating from 11:30-11:45 p.m. The rating is up 24 percent from an 8.9 for last  year’s Game 1.

NBA Finals on ESPN3

NBA Finals Game 1 on ESPN3 delivered a record 677,669 unique viewers, which is up 117 percent from Game 1 in 2014.

The NBA Finals will continue with Game 2 on ABC this Sunday, June 7, at 8 p.m. ET. NBA Countdown will precede the broadcast at 7:30 p.m. For more details on ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA Finals coverage, visit ESPN Media Zone.


Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or [email protected] (@Ben_ESPN).