ABC continued to soar with the NBA Finals, ending on Thursday night. It gave the Miami Heat its second championship over the Oklahoma City Thunder -- but the series was down 6% in average total
viewership from a year ago.
The fifth game had a Nielsen preliminary 6.4 rating/19 share and was seen by 15.5 million viewers. The five-game series averaged 16.3 million viewers, compared to the six-game Dallas Mavericks-Miami Heat series a year ago, which pulled in 17.3 million viewers.
The series posted the best results for a five-game series since 2004, when the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons, and pulled in 17.9 million viewers. The one other five-game series since then was in 2009, when the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic and scored an average 14.4 million viewers.
The best results for the NBA Finals were in 2010, when the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics -- two big branded storied franchises -- averaging 18.1 million viewers.
For Thursday night, ABC had a 5.3/16 average -- more ratings and share points than the other broadcast networks combined. The second-best-rated program for the night was ABC's pre-game "NBA Countdown," which rose to a 3.5/12. Earlier in the evening, ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night!" earned a 2.4/9.
One other notable: NBC's part two of "Justin Bieber: All Around the World" special earned a 0.8 rating/3 share, down a tenth from yesterday. Total average viewers were at 3.1 million -- about the same as part one of the special.
After ABC, CBS averaged a 1.5/5; Univision and Fox each scored a 1.3/4; NBC earned a 0.7/2; and CW came in at 0.3/1.