ABC dominates ratings with NBA Finals

On a night when CBS and Fox settled for scrawny numbers with mostly repeats, ABC dominated the Sunday ratings race with a competitive Game 2 of the NBA Finals, while NBC ran second with its coverage of Game 5 of hockey’s Stanley Cup Finals.

According to Nielsen, ABC’s stations averaged a 5.0 rating/14 share in adults 18-49 and 12.3 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., although these numbers are expected to rise by at least 10% in the nationals since they don’t include viewership in Los Angeles and other western markets. The game, which saw the Boston Celtics rally and defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, earned a 10.9 household rating in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, up 10% from last year’s Game 2 (9.9) and the best for the second contest in the series since 2004; Sunday’s game peaked with a 14.7 rating from 10:45 to 11.

The basketball game dominated everything else on Sunday night, and more than doubled up NBC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals, which drew a 2.3/6 in 18-49 and 6 million viewers overall. Still, this is one of the best ratings in years for a non-clinching Stanley Cup Finals game.

Sports action resumes Tuesday, when ABC airs Game 3 of the NBA Finals, and NBC follows the next night with Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The two events aren’t scheduled to air again on the same night.

Elsewhere, Fox aired original episodes of “Til Death” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall) and “Sons of Tucson” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) but fared better with encores of its regular Sunday animated comedies “The Simpsons” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), “The Cleveland Show” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall) and “American Dad” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall).

CBS started with “60 Minutes” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), followed by repeats of dramas “Medium” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall), “The Good Wife” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) and “Cold Case” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.5/13; NBC, 1.9/6; Fox, 1.4/4; CBS, 1.1/3; Univision, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 11.1 million; CBS, 6.6 million; NBC, 5.2 million; Fox, 3.4 million; Univision, 1.4 million.

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