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TV Ratings: Stephen Curry-LeBron James Battle in NBA Finals Scores for ABC

UPDATED with final national ratings:

Thursday’s much anticipated face-off between basketball superstars Stephen Curry and LeBron James in the NBA Finals delivered record viewership for a Game 1 telecast on ABC.

This year’s opening salvo saw Curry’s Golden State Warriors best James’ Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89.

According to ABC, the game that ran from 9 p.m.-11:40 p.m. ET grabbed 19.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen live-same-day numbers. That was enough to beat ABC’s broadcast network competition combined by 2.6 million viewers. It was also the highest opening game score for an NBA Finals series since ABC began carrying the hoops championship in 2003.

The game was a big draw among young adults, averaging an 7.1 rating/30 share in adults 18-34 as well as big numbers in adults 18-49 (7.3/26) and adults 25-54 (7.6/23).

Following the game, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” also delivered its highest ratings for a Game 1 NBA finals night, drawing 4.5 million viewers and 1.2/5 in adults 18-49.

In the overnight markets, viewership peaked from 10:45 p.m.-11 p.m. ET with a 14.8 household rating.

The Cleveland market elbowed past San Francisco in terms of local tune-in. The telecast on ABC’s Cleveland affiliate WESW-TV delivered a 36 household rating, compared to a 32.8 on ABC O&O KGO-TV San Francisco. Sacramento (with a 20 household rating), Columbus, Ohio (18.9 ) and Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (18.8) rounded out the top 5 local markets for the game.

ABC also noted that the game set a new high-water mark for NBA game viewership on the streaming WatchESPN app with an average minute audience of 347,000.

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