Nielsen Ratings Sunday June 8: NBA Finals Overnights Look About the Same As Thursday

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June 9th, 2008

Scoreboard for Sun. June 8, 2008 ABC CBS NBC FOX CW
Total Viewers (million) 8.96 7.90 6.40 3.89 .98
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.5/11 1.6/5 1.7/5 1.7/5 0.4/1

ABC won the night easily with game two of the NBA finals where the Boston Celtics were blowing out the Los Angeles Lakers only to see the Lakers come on strong near the end. It was not enough and Boston now leads the best of seven game series 2-0.

Remember, these #s are a.) only for the primetime portion of the game through 11pm ET, and the game ran on about another hour, and that b.) preliminary numbers for LIVE events always are fairly worthless anyway. But with that disclaimer for the primetime portion the preliminary numbers have 9.95 million watching the basketball game from 9pm-11pm.

That's exactly the same result as Thursday night's overnight numbers for just the primetime portion of the game. Remember, though, when the final numbers came out for the whole game (and not just the primetime portion) it turns out that 13.38 million watched.

If we can use Thursday's happenings as a proxy -- and honestly, we probably can't, but what the heck, especially with the overnight 9p-11p portion for Sunday's contest being identical, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict around 13 million viewers when the final numbers are out.

Bold, I know. But same teams, same result (Celtics win) same overnight numbers. Bill and I have a wager on whether the series will average above or below 15 million and I took the under. For now it looks like Bill will be springing for the pulled-pork sandwich at Balboa Cafe, but if the Lakers can win at least two games in LA, Bill might wind up in the catbird seat. You can let us know where you think the ratings for the finals will wind up by participating in our poll.

Update 2:10p PDT: I have yet to see any final numbers but based on the fast-nationals, ABC is saying the game drew 13.5 million from 9:04-11:55pm ET (slightly better than Thursday if it doesn't change). More from ABC:

Sunday night's No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (13.5 million) and across each of the key adult demographics:  A18-34 (5.5 rating), A18-49 (5.5 rating) and A25-54 (5.8 rating).  It was the 2nd straight telecast for the 2008 NBA Finals to stand as the night's highest-rated television show in viewers and key adults.

No pretty data table today, but here's Sunday night's half-hourly data courtesy of Marc Berman.

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