NBA Finals Prove Winning For ABC

ABC easily won the first Thursday in June, thanks to the first game of the NBA Finals -- with early viewer results slightly higher than a year ago.

The Miami Heat-San Antonio contest posted a Nielsen preliminary live-plus-same-day 5.1 rating/13 share among 18-49 viewers -- up from last year’s NBA Finals Game One results, which pulled in a preliminary 4.9 rating/14 share. 

That Heat game took in 12.6 million overall viewers -- this versus a 12.3 million viewers a year ago.

Final Nielsen numbers will rise -- as they virtually always do for live prime-time sporting events. Last year’s first game tallied a 5.7/18 among 18-49ers and 14.2 million overall viewers.

ABC’s “NBA Countdown” pre-game programming at 9 p.m. got to a 2.8/10, while ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night” -- an hour earlier -- posted a 2.1/8.

The best results after ABC’s prime-time programming came from a CBS rerun of “The Big Bang Theory” -- a 2.0/8 -- at 8 p.m. Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” got to a 1.6/6 -- equalling its results of the week before.

Newer summer programming fare pulled in much lower results: Two separate NBC’s “Undateable” episodes -- one at 9 p.m. and another at 9:30 p.m -- each posted a 1.0 rating/4 share. Fox’s “Gang Related” at 9 p.m. was at a 0.8/3 down from a 1.0 rating the week before.

For the night, among 18-49 viewers, ABC averaged a 4.2 rating/14 share. After that three networks --  CBS, NBC, and Fox -- tied for second, each with a 1.2/4. Univision was at a 1.0/3 and CW, a 0.3/1.

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