Game one of NBA finals averages 13 million, posts highest prime-time numbers for game 1 since 2004

Categories: TV Sports Ratings & News

Written By

June 8th, 2009

lakers-v-magic-game-2

Given the blowout in game one, the numbers are impressive!

via ABC press release:

With Coverage of the 2009 NBA Finals Game 1, ABC Wins Thursday by

2.8 Million Viewers and by 71% in Adults 18-49 Over its Closest Competitors

ABC Posts Top Thursday with Summer Programming Since September '05

And Tallies its Strongest Opening Night with the NBA Finals Since 2004

Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)

With coverage of the 2009 NBA Finals Game 1 between the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers, ABC posted a definitive victory on Thursday night, beating its nearest competitors by 2.8 million viewers (10.1 million vs. 7.3 million - CBS) and by 71% in Adults 18-49 (4.1/13 vs. 2.4/7 - Fox).

  • Despite the one-sided nature of the game, as the Lakers won by 25 points, ABC's delivery was up over the same Thursday last year in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (9.5 million and 3.7/12 on 6/5/08), when the Net carried Game 1 of the high-profile first-in-two-decades Lakers-Celtics match-up. In fact on both Nielsen measures, ABC tallied its strongest Thursday with summer programming since September 2005 - since 9/8/05.
  • In Viewers and Adults 18-49, the Net posted its highest primetime numbers with Game 1 of The Finals since 2004. It was ABC's highest-ever opening night with Adults 18-34 (4.2/14-tie) and Men 18-34 number (5.5/19) for the NBA Championship series.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night" (Various Time Periods)

Airing around the NBA Finals in various time periods across the country, the "Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night" special generated broad exposure for the ABC late-night talker in primetime. On average, "JKL Game Night" was up by 1.9 million viewers (3.6 million vs. 1.7 million) and by 100% in Adults 18-49 (1.2/4 vs. 0.6/3) over the show's '08-09 TV Season average in late night.

  • Year to year, "JKL Game Night" was up 9% in both Total Viewers (3.6 million vs. 3.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (1.2/4 vs. 1.1/4).
  • Thursday's (6/4/09) Late-Night telecast of "JKL" equaled the show's highest Metered Market Adult 18-49 number in over 3 months (since 3/2/09). Competitively, "Kimmel" tied NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on Thursday in Adults 18-49 and outdelivered CBS' "Ferguson" by 150% (1.0/6 vs. 0.4/3).

"2009 NBA Finals Game 1" (9:00 - 11:43 p.m. E.T.)

Featuring the Orlando Magic at the Los Angeles Lakers, ABC's 2009 NBA Finals Game 1 dominated its primetime competition and stood as Thursday's No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (13.0 million) and across each of the key Adult demographics:  A18-34 (5.6/18), A18-49 (5.4/16) and A25-54 (5.4/15).  Los Angeles dominated the opening game of the series by a score of 100-75 to lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.

  • Although it was a blow-out contest, the first game of the 2009 Finals equaled the start of the dream match-up between the Lakers and Celtics last year in the key Adult 18-49 sales demo, qualifying as the best start in 5 years (since 2004 Detroit-Lakers) and as the second-highest-ever opening game for The Finals on ABC - beginning with coverage in 2003.
  • Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Finals delivered a 20.9/37 Household number in Los Angeles and a 23.9/38 in Orlando.

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 (National, Live + Same Day Program Ratings), 6/4/09.  Metered Market averages based on Local People Meter data for 6/4/09.

 
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