Game 2 of NBA finals averages 14 million in preliminary fast nationals from 8p-11:12p

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Kobe Bryant

via ABC press release:

Driven by Game 2 of the 2009 NBA Finals, ABC Overshadows Sunday’s Prime,

Topping its Nearest Competitors by 1 Million Viewers and by 106% in Adults 18-49

ABC Produces its Highest-Rated Summer Sunday in 5 Years with Young Adults

For the Second Straight Telecast this Year, the 2009 NBA Finals on ABC

Qualify as the Night’s No. 1 TV Show in Viewers and All Key Adults Demos

In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, Game 2 of the NBA Finals Is the

Biggest in 5 Years and Qualifies as ABC’s Second-Strongest-Ever Game 2

Sunday Night (7:00-11:00 p.m. – “Fast Affiliate Ratings”)

Driven by Game 2 coverage of the 2009 NBA Finals, featuring Orlando at Los Angeles, ABC turned in a convincing win on Sunday evening.  According to Nielsen’s preliminary time-period-based “Fast Affiliate” ratings, ABC outpaced its nearest competition during primetime by 2.5 million viewers (10.3 million vs. 7.8 million – CBS) and by 147% in Adults 18-49 (4.2/13 vs. 1.7/5 – Fox).  In Adults 18-49, ABC beat the combined delivery of CBS, NBC and Fox on the evening (4.2/13 vs. 4.0/12).

  • ABC’s primetime results were up sharply over the same night last year when it aired coverage of the second game for the high-profile Lakers-Celtics 2008 NBA Finals, increasing by nearly 2 million viewers and by 27% in Adults 18-49 (8.4 million and 3.3/10 on 6/8/08). It was the Network’s top-rated summer Sunday in 5 years with Adults 18-34 (4.1/14) and Adults 18-49 (4.2/13) – since 6/13/04.
  • Similarly to Thursday’s Game 1, the Net posted its best primetime results with a Game 2 of The Finals since 2004 in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 – since 6/8/04.

“2009 NBA Finals Game 2” (8:00 – 11:12 p.m. E.T. – “Fast National Ratings”)

According to Nielsen’s program-based “Fast National” ratings, ABC’s 2009 NBA Finals Game 2 overcame its competitors during primetime to qualify as Sunday night’s No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (14.0 million) and across each of the key adult demographics:  A18-34 (5.7 rating), A18-49 (5.8 rating) and A25-54 (6.0 rating).  It was the 2nd straight telecast for the 2009 NBA Finals to stand as the night’s highest-rated television show in viewers and key adults.  In a game that went into overtime, the Los Angeles Lakers won by a score of 101-96 to lead the Orlando Magic 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

  • ABC’s Game 2 of the 2009 NBA Finals posted year-to-year increases in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 over the second game of the 2008 Lakers-Celtics Finals (13.5 million & 5.5/16 on 6/8/08). In viewers and young adults, it was the strongest Game 2 for the NBA Championship Series in 5 years and the second-highest-ever on ABC – since Game 2 of the 2004 series on 6/8/04. ABC began carriage of the NBA Finals starting in 2003.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 31% currently, from 25% at the same point in 2008.  More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

Source: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate time period and Fast National program Live + Same Day Ratings), 6/7/09.

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