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TV Ratings: NBA Finals Game 1 Tops Thursday, Holds Steady With 2016 Opener

Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers on ABC easily won the night in the Thursday overnight ratings, with the opening game of the series approximately even in the ratings with the 2016 opener.

According to early Nielsen data, Thursday night’s game averaged a 5.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.7 million viewers. However, due to the nature of live sports, the overnight numbers will more than likely adjust up later today. 2016’s Game 1 initially opened to a 6.0 and 15.6 million viewers, but eventually adjusted up to to a 7.3 rating and 19.2 million viewers.

Earlier on ABC, the network aired Jimmy Kimmel’s “Live Game Night” special (2.5, 8.7 million) at 8 p.m., followed by “NBA Countdown” (2.7, 8.4 million) at 8:30 p.m.

On Fox, the second episode of “Beat Shazam” (1.1, 3.4 million) was even with its premiere last week. “Love Connection” (0.8, 2.9 million) was down from its premiere last week, but in fairness it aired at the same time as the beginning of Game 1.

CBS aired only repeats, save for the finale of “The Amazing Race” (0.7, 3.9 million), which was even with its performance last week.

NBC and The CW aired only repeats.

ABC easily won the night with a 4.8 rating and 13.3 million viewers. Fox was second in the demo with a 1.0 but fourth in total viewers with 3.2 million. CBS finished third in the demo with a 0.8 but second in viewers with 4.4 million. NBC finished fourth in the demo with a 0.6 but third in viewers with 3.6 million. The CW averaged a 0.2 and 770,000 viewers.

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