NBA Finals Dominate Sunday as Miss USA Takes a Tumble

Ratings for pageant on NBC down 20% from last year opposite ABC's Game 5 of Heat-Spurs series

NBA finals
Brendan Maloney/Pool/Getty Images

ABC rolled over the competition on Sunday as Game 5 of the NBA Finals dominated the evening and contributed to big year-to-year losses for the Miss USA pageant on NBC.

According to preliminary, affiliate-based national estimates from Nielsen, the San Antonio Spurs’ victory over the Miami Heat averaged a 5.6 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and 14.2 million viewers overall on the net’s stations from 8 to 11. These numbers will rise in the nationals and should challenge or surpass the previous high in the series, set Thursday with Game 5 with a 6.7 national rating/21 share in 18-49 and 16.23 million viewers overall.

In metered-market overnights, Sunday night’s game earned an 11.4 household rating — the second best of the Finals, behind Thursday’s 12.0. This is the 23rd straight time that an NBA Finals game has delivered a double-digit overnight, and Sunday will mark the 35th consecutive time an NBA Finals telecast has won the night for ABC.

There wasn’t much else going on Sunday, with NBC earning second place thanks mostly to a golf overrun in the opening half-hour for the U.S. Open Championship (2.8/11 in 18-49, 11.3 million viewers overall). Following a special encore of “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.5 million viewers overall) and a repeat of the live semifinal performances show of “The Voice” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), the “2013 Miss USA Pageant” did a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 4.6 million viewers overall from 9 to 11.

“Miss USA” came in down about 20% from last year (1.8 in 18-49 and 6.3 million viewers overall) when it didn’t have to face the NBA Finals. It peaked in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour with a 1.7 in the demo and 5.5 million total viewers.

Fox aired repeats of animated comedies “The Cleveland Show” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall), “American Dad” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall), “Bob’s Burgers” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) and a pair of “Family Guy” episodes (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall at 9 and 1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall at 9:3o).

At CBS, “60 Minutes” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) was followed by a special repeat of Wednesday reality series “American Baking Competition” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) and encores of regular Sunday dramas “The Good Wife” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) and “The Mentalist” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall). In the coming weeks, CBS will have summer reality staple “Big Brother” and returning crime drama “Unforgettable” on its Sunday roster.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.7/15; NBC, 1.4/4; Fox, 0.9/3; Univision, 0.8/2; CBS, 0.6/2; Telemundo, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: ABC, 12.2 million; NBC, 5.3 million; CBS, 4.2 million; Fox, 2.0 million; Univision, 1.9 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million,