Tonys on CBS Steady in Ratings Sunday; NBA Finals on ABC Dominates With 15 Million

Tony Awards Show

UPDATE: In updated estimates from Nielsen on Monday, Game 2 of the NBA Finals averaged 15.01 million viewers on ABC, up 3% from last year (14.57 million) when the same teams met. Viewership peaked with 18.79 million viewers between 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET.

Through two games, the NBA Finals on ABC are averaging 14.93 million viewers, up 4% from last year. Game 3 is Tuesday night in Miami.


On a Sunday of event programming on the broadcast networks, ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals crushed the competition, while NBC’s “Miss USA” pageant finished ahead of the “Tony Awards” on CBS.

The preliminary estimates from Nielsen released this morning are less reliable for the basketball game, which aired live across the country, but the Miami Heat’s 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of pro basketball’s championship round averaged a 5.1 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 12.6 million viewers overall on ABC’s stations from 8 to 11 — up nearly 10% from last year’s second-game prelims.

In metered-market overnights, the game did a 10.2 rating, down slightly from the 10.4 for Game 1; it peaked in the 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET quarter hour with a 13.9 rating.  Last year’s Game 2 ended up doing a 6.0 demo rating and 14.85 million total viewers.

The 68th Annual Tony Awards average a 1.2 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 and a little over 7 million total viewers from 8 to 11 p.m. — flat in the demo and down a bit in total viewers from last year’s 7.3 million. Still, this is the show’s second largest audience in the last five years.

At NBC, “Miss USA” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall) was up 8% in the demo and 21% in total viewers vs. its performance of last year, when it aired one week later and didn’t face the Tonys (but did go up against basketball).

Fox aired an original “Enlisted” (0.4/2 in 18-49, 1.0 million viewers overall), followed by repeats of “American Dad” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.3 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall). It closed out the night with the finale of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall); for the entirety of its run, the science series averaged a 1.5/5 in 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers overall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.4/14; NBC, 1.2/4; CBS, 1.1/4; Fox, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: ABC, 11.0 million; CBS, 7.4 million; NBC, 5.4 million; Fox, 2.2 million.

1.5/4 3.9

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