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Beverly Hills News – NBA Finals A Slam Dunk for ABC Ratings

Viewership for the first two games of the NBA Finals increased from last year, helping to make ABC the most-watched network in prime time for the second time in three weeks.

The Miami Heat’s 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 on Sunday was the week’s most-watched program. About 15.13 million viewers tuned in — 3.8 percent more than than the 14.57 million average for Game 2 last year between the same two teams, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen today.

San Antonio’s 110-95 victory in Game 1 on Thursday was the week’s only other prime-time program to average more than 12 million viewers, finishing second with about 14.85 million viewers — 4.3 percent more than the 14.24 million average for Game 1 last season.

ABC’s most-watched program of the week outside its basketball coverage was “The Bachelorette,” 11th for the week among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs. About 6.74 million viewers tuned in, the most since the series’ season premiere.

NBC recorded victories from its coverage of the week’s other professional sports championship, hockey’s Stanley Cup Final.

The Los Angeles Kings’ 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers in Game 1 on Wednesday made NBC the night’s most-watched network among viewers ages 18-49, the group ABC and Fox also target and advertisers covet.

NBC was the most-watched network among all viewers Saturday, when it aired the Kings’ 5-4 double overtime victory.

Game 1 was 39th for the week, averaging 4.78 million, the second-largest audience for the first matchup of a Stanley Cup Final since NBC resumed coverage of the event in 2006.

Game 2 was 13th for the week, averaging 6.41 million viewers — the most- watched Game 2 on record, dating back to 1994. (The Stanley Cup Final was not shown on broadcast television in the U.S. from 1981-1993 and only one game was shown on a major broadcast network from 1976-1980.)

Viewership of CBS’ coverage of the Tony Awards dropped 3.4 percent from last year to 7.05 million, but it finished eighth for the week, three spots higher than last year.

Sunday night’s other live event in most of the nation, the Miss USA pageant, was 22nd for the week, averaging 5.56 million viewers. However, it topped the Tony Awards among viewers ages 18-49.

ABC averaged 6.9 million viewers for its prime-time programming between June 2 and Sunday. CBS was second, averaging 5.85 million, followed by NBC (5.65 million) and Fox (3.01 million).

ABC also finished first among viewers ages 18-49, thanks to a 1-2 finish by Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” finished third in the category, followed by NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final and ABC’s 29-minute “KIA NBA Countdown” before Game 1.

“Game of Thrones” was the week’s most-watched cable program, averaging 6.95 million viewers, putting it ninth among all prime-time programs.

History was the week’s most-watched cable network, averaging 2.06 million viewers. It had four of the week’s 10 most-watched prime-time cable programs — “American Pickers,” “Swamp People” and two episodes of “Pawn Stars.”

The week’s most-watched Spanish-language program was Thursday episode of the Univision telenovela “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo,” which averaged 3.93 million viewers, 57th among all prime-time broadcast programs.

As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 2.63 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.53 million, followed by UniMas (1.27 million), Estrella TV (210,000), MundoFox (100,000) and Azteca America (40,000).

The “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 247th consecutive week, averaging 7.71 million viewers, followed by ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” (7.47 million) and the “CBS Evening News” anchored by Scott Pelley (5.94 million).

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were ABC’s coverage of Games 2 and 1 of the NBA Finals; NBC’s”America’s Got Talent”; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” “NCIS,” “60 Minutes,” “NCIS: Los Angeles” and the Tony Awards; HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBC’s “The Night Shift.”


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