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Opposite Big Basketball, NBC’s ‘Voice’ Finale On Par in Demo Vs. Last Spring

ABC wins the night as ratings surge for overtime thriller in Game 6 of the NBA Finals

UPDATE: In national ratings released from Nielsen this afternoon, the season finale of NBC’s “The Voice” went up to a 4.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.59 million viewers overall — matching the demo delivery of last spring’s finale (in May) and down 10% from last fall’s edition (4.9). In total viewers, this is easily the most-watched “Voice” finale to date and the show’s largest audience for any episode since February 2012.

The NBA Finals on ABC delivered an 8.5/25 in adults 18-49 and 20.64 million viewers overall. The only Game 6 over the past 11 years to rate higher was the 2011 matchup between Dallas and Miami, which drew 23.88 million for what turned out to be the final game of that series. ABC will air Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

* * *

Tuesday was a big night for live television viewing, with the NBA Finals on ABC and season finale of “The Voice” on NBC both putting up strong numbers. The music competition spiked week to week to finish in line with the demo delivery of its spring cycle from last year while drawing its largest overall audience to date for a finale.

The Miami Heat’s overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the NBA Finals was the night’s top-rated program, though preliminary, affiliate-based estimates are murky due to the length of the game and time zone differences. On ABC’s stations, the game did a 6.5 rating/18 share in adults 18-49 and 16.1 million viewers overall from 9 to 11.

In metered-market overnights, the NBA Finals did a 14.7 household rating — up nearly 30% from Sunday’s Game 5 (11.4) and easily the best of the series. Among the seven NBA Finals to go at least six games since ABC began broadcasting it in 2003, only the 2011 Miami-Dallas series had a higher-rated Game 6 (15.0).

It’s also the fourth highest-rated NBA game overall since 2003, also lagging Game 7 in 2010 (18.2) and Game 5 in 2004 (15.5).

Ratings peaked in the 11:45 p.m. ET quarter-hour with a 19.8 rating. And in the local markets, the game was watched in 47.6% of San Antonio homes and 35.4% of homes in Miami.

At NBC, the two-hour conclusion of the fourth cycle of “The Voice” averaged a 4.3/12 in adults 18-49 and 15.3 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 — down about 10% in the demo and up about 1 million in total viewers vs. its most recent finale in December (4.9 in 18-49, 14.13 million viewers overall). These are impressive numbers, especially since the finale went opposite major sports action for the first time.

When the nationals come in, the “Voice” finale is expected to match or perhaps surpass the 4.4 demo rating for its spring 2012 finale, which aired in May.

In total viewers, this was the most watched “Voice” finale to date — and up more than 3 million from last spring (11.93 million).

Kicking off the night for NBC was “America’s Got Talent” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall), which was on par with its two-hour episode of last week.

Elsewhere, Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” dropped to a low (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) opposite the tough competition.

CBS aired repeats of its crime dramas “NCIS” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) and “Person of Interest” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), with “Person” making its debut on what will be its new night in the fall.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.4/15; NBC, 3.8/11; Univision, 1.5/4; Fox, 1.4/4; CBS, 0.9/3; Telemundo, 0.7/2; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 14.0 million; ABC, 13.7 million; CBS, 6.4 million; Fox, 3.9 million; Univision, 3.7 million; Telemundo, 1.6 million; CW, 0.7 million.

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