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TV Ratings: NBA Finals Game 1 Dominates Quiet Thursday

Cavaliers Warriors NBA Finals Game 1
JOHN G. MABANGLO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals on ABC was approximately even in the household ratings with the comparable game in 2017.

Thursday night’s game, which again saw the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors, drew an 12.3 rating in Nielsen’s metered market households. For comparison, 2017’s Game 1 drew a 12.4 household rating.

In the overnight ratings, Game 1 drew a 5.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 13.6 million viewers, though due to the nature of live sports these numbers will be subject to adjustment later today. Last year’s Game 1 initially drew a 5.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.7 million viewers before adjusting up to a 6.9 and 18.7 million. 2016’s Game 1 drew a 7.3 rating and 19.2 million viewers when all was said and done.

Earlier on ABC, the special “Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night” drew a 2.5 and 8.6 million viewers. “NBA Countdown” drew a 3.0 and 9.2 million viewers.

NBC, CBS, Fox, and The CW aired only repeats

ABC dominated all of their primetime competition, winning the night with a 4.3 and 12 million viewers. NBC was second in the demo with a 0.9 but third in viewers with 4.4 million. CBS was third in the demo with a 0.8 but second in viewers with 5.1 million. Fox was fourth overall with a 0.5 and 1.8 million. The CW averaged a 0.2 and 696,000 viewers.