NBA Finals television ratings

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This is a list of television ratings for NBA Finals in the United States, based on Nielsen viewing data.

The highest rated and most watched NBA Final series was 1998 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz,; the series averaged an 18.7 rating / 33 share and 29.04 million viewers on NBC. The lowest rated and least watched NBA Final series was 2007 NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers; the series averaged a 6.2 rating / 11 share and 9.29 million viewers on ABC.

The highest rated and most watched NBA Final game was Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals which averaged a 22.3 rating / 38 share and 35.89 million viewers on Sunday night. The lowest rated and least watched NBA Final game was Game 2 of the 2003 NBA Finals which averaged a 5.2 rating / 10 share and 8.06 million viewers on Friday night.

The 1987 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics was the highest rated and most watched NBA Final series on CBS averaging a 15.9 rating / 32 share and 24.12 million viewers. Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals registered the network's highest rated and most watched NBA game with a 21.2 rating / 37 share.

The 2015 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers was the highest rated NBA Final series on ABC averaging an 11.6 rating / 21 share and 19.94 million viewers. The 2017 NBA Finals featuring the same two teams was the most watched NBA Final series on ABC averaging an 11.3 rating / 22 share and 20.38 million viewers. Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals registered the network's highest rated and most watched NBA game with an average 15.8 rating / 29 share and 31.02 million viewers while peaking with a whopping 22.5 rating and 44.51 million viewers in the last 5 minutes of the game.[1] It was the first basketball game to draw more than 30 million average viewers in 18 years, and only the seventh sports telecast (excluding NFL and Olympics) to have done so since 1998.[2]

Average rating by year (1974 - present)[edit]

Average viewership by year (1987 - present)[edit]

Single game superlatives (1987 - present)[edit]

Game-by-game breakdown by year (1974 - present)[edit]

Figures are expressed as Rating/Share. Rating represents the percentage of US TV households that watched the game, Share represents the percentage of TV sets in use that were tuned to the game.

Note that game-by-game viewership for pre-2000 series were generally unavailable.

Year Network Results Avg Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5 Game 6 Game 7
2018 ABC Golden State Warriors 4,
Cleveland Cavaliers 0
10.0

(17.56M Viewers)

10.0

(17.67M Viewers)[3]

10.3

(18.47M Viewers)[3]

10.4

(17.85M Viewers)[3]

9.3

(16.24M Viewers)[3]

No Game
2017 ABC Golden State Warriors 4,
Cleveland Cavaliers 1
11.3/22
(20.38M
Viewers)
10.5[4]/20
(18.70M
Viewers)[5]
10.7[4]/20
(19.69M
Viewers)[6]
11.3[7]/21
(20.05M
Viewers)[8]
10.7[9]/22
(19.01M
Viewers)[10]
13.5[11]/25
(24.47M
Viewers)[12]
No Game
2016 ABC Cleveland Cavaliers 4,
Golden State Warriors 3
11.4/21
(20.28M
Viewers)
11.1[13]/20
(19.20M
Viewers)[14]
9.8[15]/17
(17.49M
Viewers)[16]
9.7[17]/18
(16.47M
Viewers)[18]
9.8[19]/19
(16.57M
Viewers)[20]
11.8[21]/21
(20.53M
Viewers)[22]
11.8[23]/22
(20.70M
Viewers)[24]
15.8[2]/29
(31.02M
viewers)[25]
2015 ABC Golden State Warriors 4,
Cleveland Cavaliers 2
11.6/21
(19.94M
Viewers)
10.6/20
(17.77M
Viewers)
10.8/19
(19.17M
Viewers)
11.1/20
(18.77M
Viewers)
11.7/21
(19.84M
Viewers)
11.8/21
(20.86M
Viewers)
13.4/24
(23.25M
Viewers)
No Game
2014 ABC San Antonio Spurs 4,
Miami Heat 1
9.3/16
(15.54M
Viewers)
9.0/15
(14.85M
Viewers)
9.0/15
(15.13M
Viewers)
9.0/15
(14.78M
Viewers)
9.3/15
(14.96M
Viewers)
10.3/18
(18.00M
Viewers)
No Game
2013 ABC Miami Heat 4,
San Antonio Spurs 3
10.4/17
(17.47M
Viewers)
8.8/14
(14.24M
Viewers)
8.5/15
(14.57M
Viewers)
8.5/14
(14.05M
Viewers)
10.0/16
(16.23M
Viewers)
9.5/16
(16.27M
Viewers)
12.3/21
(20.64M
Viewers)
15.3/26
(26.32M
Viewers)
2012 ABC Miami Heat 4,
Oklahoma City Thunder 1
10.1/17
(16.88M
Viewers)
9.9/16
(16.20M
Viewers)
10.4/17
(16.67M
Viewers)
8.8/16
(15.55M
Viewers)
10.5/18
(17.50M
Viewers)
10.9/18
(18.46M
Viewers)
No Game
2011 ABC Dallas Mavericks 4,
Miami Heat 2
10.2/17
(17.39M
Viewers)
9.0/15
(15.17M
Viewers)
9.3/15
(15.52M
Viewers)
9.1/15
(15.34M
Viewers)
9.6/16
(16.13M
Viewers)
10.8/18
(18.32M
Viewers)
13.3/23
(23.88M
Viewers)
No Game
2010 ABC Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Boston Celtics 3
10.6/18
(18.14M
Viewers)
8.6/14
(14.09M
Viewers)
9.2/15
(15.72M
Viewers)
9.6/16
(15.96M
Viewers)
9.9/18
(16.37M
Viewers)
10.8/18
(18.65M
Viewers)
10.4/18
(17.96M
Viewers)
15.6/27
(28.20M
Viewers)
2009 ABC Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Orlando Magic 1
8.4/15
(14.35M
Viewers)
7.8/14
(13.04M
Viewers)
8.2/14
(14.06M
Viewers)
8.6/15
(14.20M
Viewers)
9.4/17
(15.96M
Viewers)
8.0/14
(14.17M
Viewers)
No Game
2008 ABC Boston Celtics 4,
Los Angeles Lakers 2
9.3/17
(14.94M
Viewers)
8.7/16
(13.38M
Viewers)
8.5/15
(13.50M
Viewers)
9.2/16
(14.51M
Viewers)
8.7/16
(13.76M
Viewers)
10.2/19
(17.39M
Viewers)
10.7/19
(16.88M
Viewers)
No Game
2007 ABC San Antonio Spurs 4,
Cleveland Cavaliers 0
6.2/11
(9.29M
Viewers)
6.3/11
(9.21M
Viewers)
5.6/10
(8.55M
Viewers)
6.4/11
(9.49M
Viewers)
6.5/12
(9.91M
Viewers)
No Game
2006 ABC Miami Heat 4,
Dallas Mavericks 2
8.5/15
(12.97M
Viewers)
7.8/14
(11.51M
Viewers)
8.0/14
(12.41M
Viewers)
8.0/14
(12.25M
Viewers)
7.8/14
(11.56M
Viewers)
9.1/17
(14.32M
Viewers)
10.1/18
(15.71M
Viewers)
No Game
2005 ABC San Antonio Spurs 4,
Detroit Pistons 3
8.2/15
(12.54M
Viewers)
7.2/13
(10.57M
Viewers)
6.9/12
(10.66M
Viewers)
7.2/13
(10.63M
Viewers)
7.2/13
(10.92M
Viewers)
8.4/15
(13.09M
Viewers)
8.8/15
(13.47M
Viewers)
11.9/22
(19.00M
Viewers)
2004 ABC Detroit Pistons 4,
Los Angeles Lakers 1
11.5/20
(17.94M
Viewers)
9.8/17
(15.36M
Viewers)
10.7/19
(16.13M
Viewers)
10.5/19
(16.21M
Viewers)
12.7/22
(20.30M
Viewers)
13.8/23
(21.84M
Viewers)
No Game
2003 ABC San Antonio Spurs 4,
New Jersey Nets 2
6.5/12
(9.86M
Viewers)
6.4/11
(9.60M
Viewers)
5.2/10
(8.06M
Viewers)
7.0/12
(10.76M
Viewers)
6.6/12
(9.66M
Viewers)
6.2/12
(9.31M
Viewers)
7.5/14
(11.57M
Viewers)
No Game
2002 NBC Los Angeles Lakers 4,
New Jersey Nets 0
10.2/19
(15.68M
Viewers)
10.6/20
(15.85M
Viewers)
9.1/18
(14.05M
Viewers)
10.2/18
(16.21M
Viewers)
10.8/19
(16.56M
Viewers)
No Game
2001 NBC Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Philadelphia 76ers 1
12.1/23
(19.00M
Viewers)
12.4/23
(18.58M
Viewers)
11.6/22
(18.72M
Viewers)
12.7/23
(20.28M
Viewers)
12.6/23
(19.97M
Viewers)
11.2/22
(17.36M
Viewers)
No Game
2000 NBC Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Indiana Pacers 2
11.6/21
(17.40M
Viewers)
10.5/18
(10.56M
Households)
9.9/20
(10.02M
Households)
10.7/19
(10.84M
Households)
13.1/24
(13.17M
Households)
10.0/20
(10.04M
Households)
14.7/26
(14.85M
Households)
No Game
1999 NBC San Antonio Spurs 4,
New York Knicks 1
11.3/21
(16.01M
Viewers)
11.5/20
(16.57M
Viewers)
9.6/19
(13.98M
Viewers)
12.1/21
(17.01M
Viewers)
12.0/22
(16.76M
Viewers)
11.0/22
(15.53M
Viewers)
No Game
1998 NBC Chicago Bulls 4,
Utah Jazz 2
18.7/33
(29.04M
Viewers)
18.0/32
(26.70M
Viewers)
16.6/31
(26.30M
Viewers)
16.2/28
(15.8M
Households)
19.1/33
(18.7M
Households)
19.8/37
(30.60M
Viewers)
22.3/38
(35.89M
Viewers)
No Game
1997 NBC Chicago Bulls 4,
Utah Jazz 2
16.8/30
(25.59M
Viewers)
15.8/27
(15.3M
Households)
15.1/27
(14.6M
Households)
14.2/27
(13.7M
Households)
16.9/30
(16.4M
Households)
20.1/35
(19.5M
Households)
18.5/35
(17.9M
Households)
No Game
1996 NBC Chicago Bulls 4,
Seattle SuperSonics 2
16.7/31
(24.86M
Viewers)
16.8/31
(16.1M
Households)
13.9/27
(13.3M
Households)
15.8/28
(15.2M
Households)
18.1/33
(17.4M
Households)
17.2/33
(16.5M
Households)
18.8/35
(18.0M
Households)
No Game
1995 NBC Houston Rockets 4,
Orlando Magic 0
13.9/25
(20.08M
Viewers)
14.7/26
(14.0M
Households)
12.0/23
(11.4M
Households)
14.1/25
(13.4M
Households)
14.9/26
(14.2M
Households)
No Game
1994 NBC Houston Rockets 4,
New York Knicks 3
12.3/23
(17.25M
Viewers)
12.6/23
(11.9M
Households)
10.7/21
(10.1M
Households)
12.4/24
(11.7M
Households)
12.9/23
(12.1M
Households)
7.8/14
(coverage affected by Bronco Chase)
11.3/24
(10.6M
Households)
17.9/31
(16.9M
Households)
1993 NBC Chicago Bulls 4,
Phoenix Suns 2
17.9/33
(27.21M
Viewers)
16.8/29
(15.6M
Households)
14.6/29
(13.6M
Households)
17.0/32
(15.8M
Households)
19.8/35
(18.4M
Households)
19.0/36
(17.7M
Households)
20.3/39
(32.10M
Viewers)
No Game
1992 NBC Chicago Bulls 4,
Portland Trail Blazers 2
14.2/27
(20.84M
Viewers)
13.5/25
(12.4M
Households)
13.7/26
(12.6M
Households)
13.6/26
(12.5M
Households)
16.0/29
(14.7M
Households)
13.9/28
(12.8M
Households)
14.7/29
(13.5M
Households)
No Game
1991 NBC Chicago Bulls 4,
Los Angeles Lakers 1
15.8/34
(23.91M
Viewers)
12.6 16.1/29
(15.0M
Households)
15.7/31
(14.6M
Households)
15.2/30
(14.2M
Households)
19.7/36
(18.3M
Households)
No Game
1990 CBS Detroit Pistons 4,
Portland Trail Blazers 1
12.3/25
(17.19M
Viewers)
11.8 12.2 10.8 13.4 13.2 No Game
1989 CBS Detroit Pistons 4,
Los Angeles Lakers 0
15.1/30
(21.26M
Viewers)
14.0 15.6 13.2 17.4 No Game
1988 CBS Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Detroit Pistons 3
15.4/31
(21.70M
Viewers)
13.9 14.8 12.0 14.8 16.1 14.4 21.2/37
1987 CBS Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Boston Celtics 2
15.9/32
(24.12M
Viewers)
13.8 14.6 11.9 18.9 18.9 17.3 No Game
1986 CBS Boston Celtics 4,
Houston Rockets 2
14.1/31
(14.43M
Households)
9.9 14.8 13.4 15.4 16.9 14.2 No Game
1985 CBS Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Boston Celtics 2
13.5/30 --- 14.3 --- 17.0 15.3 15.3 No Game
1984 CBS Boston Celtics 4,
Los Angeles Lakers 3
12.1/26 --- 12.3 --- 13.1 12.1 --- 19.3
1983 CBS Philadelphia 76ers 4,
Los Angeles Lakers 0
12.3/26 --- 12.9/23 --- --- No Game
1982 CBS Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Philadelphia 76ers 2
13.0/28
1981 CBS Boston Celtics 4,
Houston Rockets 2
6.7/27
1980 CBS Los Angeles Lakers 4,
Philadelphia 76ers 2
8.0/29
1979 CBS Seattle SuperSonics 4,
Washington Bullets 1
7.2/24
1978 CBS Washington Bullets 4,
Seattle SuperSonics 3
9.9/25
1977 CBS Portland Trail Blazers 4,
Philadelphia 76ers 2
12.7/33
1976 CBS Boston Celtics 4,
Phoenix Suns 2
11.5/29
1975 CBS Golden State Warriors 4,
Washington Bullets 0
10.1/28
(11.38M
Viewers)
1974 CBS Boston Celtics 4,
Milwaukee Bucks 3
13.5/32

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Douglas Pucci (June 21, 2016). "Sunday Final Nationals: Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals Game 7 on ABC Draws Best NBA Game Ratings in 18 Years". Programming Insider. Retrieved June 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Paulsen (June 20, 2016). "LeBron, Cleveland's Game 7 Triumph Tops 30 Million Viewers". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d "NBA Finals Ratings History (1988-Present) - Sports Media Watch". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved 2018-07-02. 
  4. ^ a b Paulsen (June 5, 2017). "NBA Finals Viewership at Post-Jordan High Through Two Games". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  5. ^ Mitch Metcalf (June 2, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Thursday Cable Originals & Broadcast Finals: 6.1.2017". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  6. ^ Mitch Metcalf (June 6, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.4.2017". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  7. ^ Paulsen (June 8, 2017). "Nailbiter Sends NBA Finals Game 3 Past 20 Million Mark". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  8. ^ Mitch Metcalf (June 8, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.7.2017". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  9. ^ Paulsen (June 10, 2017). "Good Times Continue, Somehow, For NBA Finals". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  10. ^ Mitch Metcalf (June 12, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Friday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.9.2017". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved June 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ Paulsen (June 13, 2017). "Warriors' Clincher Fourth-Most Watched NBA Game Since '98". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 13, 2017. 
  12. ^ Mitch Metcalf (June 13, 2017). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.12.2017". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved June 13, 2017. 
  13. ^ Paulsen (June 3, 2016). "Warriors' Rout Most-Watched Game 1 of NBA Finals Since 1998". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 3, 2016. 
  14. ^ Rick Porter (June 3, 2016). "Thursday final ratings: NBA Finals tops 2015's Game 1, 'Big Bang' adjusts up, 'American Grit' down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 3, 2016. 
  15. ^ Paulsen (June 8, 2016). "Game 2 of NBA Finals Holds Up Well Despite Blowout". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  16. ^ Rick Porter (June 8, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: Miss USA adjusts up, plus final NBA numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  17. ^ Paulsen (June 9, 2016). "Stinkers Sinking NBA Finals, But Numbers Still Big". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 9, 2016. 
  18. ^ Rick Porter (June 9, 2016). "Wednesday final ratings: NBA Finals adjust up but lowest of series so far". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 9, 2016. 
  19. ^ Paulsen (June 14, 2016). "Closer Game, But No Cigar For NBA Finals". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 14, 2016. 
  20. ^ Rick Porter (June 13, 2016). "Friday final ratings: Final NBA and Copa America numbers, 'Masters of Illusion' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  21. ^ Paulsen (June 14, 2016). "NBA Finals Has Another Viewership Dip, But Nears Post-Jordan High". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 14, 2016. 
  22. ^ Rick Porter (June 14, 2016). "Monday final ratings: 'So You Think You Can Dance' adjusts up, 'Reign' and 'Whose Line' ajdust down, final NBA numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 14, 2016. 
  23. ^ Paulsen (June 17, 2016). "Despite Fifth Straight Decline, NBA Finals Strong Entering Game 7". Sports Media Watch. Retrieved June 17, 2016. 
  24. ^ Rick Porter (June 17, 2016). "Thursday final ratings: NBA Finals hits a high for 2016". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 17, 2016. 
  25. ^ Rick Porter (June 21, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: NBA Finals Game 7 adjusts up a little more". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 

External links[edit]