TV Ratings: NBA Finals Is Most Watched Since 1998

UPDATED 3:11 P.M. PT: The Golden State Warriors’ championship-clinching victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night closed out the most-watched NBA Finals series since 1998, according to updated number from Nielsen.

The 2017 championship averaged 20.4 million total viewers, up from 20.2 million viewers for last season’s seven-game series. This year’s Finals also averaged an additional 434,000 digital streaming viewers, according to ESPN, which produces ABC’s NBA telecasts.

Game five averaged 24.5 million viewers, making it the most watched game five since 1998, and an additional 537,000 streaming viewers.

The ABC telecast averaged a 16.0 metered-market rating, up 13 percent from Game 5 in both 2016 and 2015. In Golden State’s home San Francisco-Oakland market, the game drew a 39.6. In Cleveland it drew a 37.1.

On NBC, the season premiere of “American Ninja Warrior” averaged a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demo from 8-10 p.m., down 18% from last year’s premiere, and 5.4 million viewers. The season premiere of “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge drew a 0.9 and 3.5 million viewers. NBC averaged a 1.2 rating and 5 share in the demo.

On Fox, the season premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance” was down one tenth of a point in the demo from last year with a 0.9 and averaged 3.6 million viewers. The premiere of unscripted series “Superhuman” followed with a 0.7 and 2.6 million viewers.

Fox averaged a 0.8 / 3. CBS, airing reruns, averaged a 0.6 / 3. On the CW, a new episode of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” followed a rerun of “Supergirl” with a 0.3 and 1 million viewers. The broadcast network averaged a 0.3 / 1 for the night.

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