ABC would have loved to see a sixth game in the NBA Finals , which always means a ratings spike , but preliminary numbers show that the Miami Heat’s Game 5 series-clinching victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder was another ratings winner for the net.
According to Nielsen, ABC’s stations averaged a 6.4 rating/19 share in adults 18-49 and 15.5 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise by at least 10% in the nationals when the game’s full duration and West Coast viewing are accurately reflected. This would make it easily the night’s No. 1 program, drawing more than three times the demo score of any entertainment telecast. Last year’s sixth and final game between the Heat and Dallas Mavericks spiked up to a 9.7/26 in 18-49 and 23.9 million viewers overall , an indication of the kinds of numbers the Alphabet might have seen if this year’s Finals had been extended.
In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, Thursday’s Game 5 earned a 12.6 household rating, on par with last year’s contest, which produced an average national audience of 18.3 million. Overall, this year’s NBA Finals averaged an 11.8 overnight household rating , up 5% from the first five games of last year (11.2) and the highest five-game ratings average since 2004.
Elsewhere, CBS did well in the night’s opening hour , before the game in much of the country , with encores of ”The Big Bang Theory” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) and ”2 Broke Girls” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall). They were followed by repeats of crime dramas ”Person of Interest” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) and ”The Mentalist” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall).
At Fox, ”Take Me Out” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) was up a tick and ”The Choice” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) was down a tick week to week. And NBC had a quiet night even with all original programming, courtesy of special ”Justin Bieber: All Around the World” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall), drama ”Saving Hope” (0.5/2 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall) and newsmagazine ”Rock Center” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall).
Univision had the top-rated non-sports broadcast program in key demos at 10 p.m. with ”La Que No Podia Amar” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall).
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.3/16; CBS, 1.5/5; Fox and Univision, 1.3/4; NBC, 0.7/2; CW, 0.3/1.
In total viewers: ABC, 12.9 million; CBS, 7.0 million; Fox, 3.7 million; Univision, 3.6 million; NBC, 3.2 million; CW, 0.8 million.