Game four of NBA of Lakers/Magic finals averaged 16 million viewers and a 6.4 adults 18-49 ratings

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Lakers Magic Game Four

Last nights game averaged 16 million viewers and a 6.4 adults 18-49 rating.  Though the featured teams may not be as compelling as last years Lakers/Celtics series, at least through four games this year’s series is up 4% in overall viewing and 5% in adults 18-49 viewing.  The series is making inroads with younger viewers too, the 18-34 viewing is up 5% through four games, and up 8% with men 18-34.  The series is up 29% with the 12-17 crowd versus last year!via ABC press release:

Towering Over Thursday for the 2nd Week in a Row with the NBA Finals, ABC

Tops its Nearest Competitors by 2.9 Million Viewers and by 64% in Adults 18-49

In Viewers and Young Adults, ABC Posts its Best Summer Thursday Since 2005


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

Driven by coverage of the 2009 NBA Finals Game 4 (Magic-Lakers), ABC took full control of Thursday night for the 2nd week in a row in Total Viewers (10.4 million) and across all key Adult demos: AD18-34 (4.2/14), AD18-49 (4.1/13) and AD25-54 (4.2/12).  Towering over the night, ABC outpaced its closest Thursday competitors in prime by 2.9 million viewers (CBS = 7.5 million) and by 64% in Adults 18-49 (Fox = 2.5/8).

  • In viewers and young adults, ABC tallied its top summer Thursday since 2005 – since 9/8/05.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night” (Various Time Periods)

Posting its best-ever numbers in viewers (3.8 million) and young adults (1.3/4), “Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night” increased its overall audience from the year-ago evening for the 4th telecast in a row (3.8 million vs. 3.0 million on 6/12/08). On average this year, the “JKL Game Night” specials have gained 13% in Total Viewers (3.4 million vs. 3.0 million) and 20% in Adults 18-49 (1.2/4 vs. 1.0/3), over the same four telecasts last year.

“2009 NBA Finals Game 4” (9:02 p.m. – 12:23 a.m. E.T.)

Game 4 of the NBA Finals on ABC soared to the top on Thursday evening, overshadowing all competitors to register as Thursday’s No. 1 TV program with Total Viewers (16.0 million) and across each of the key Adult demos:  A18-34 (6.4/22), A18-49 (6.4/20) and A25-54 (6.5/18).  It was the 4th straight broadcast for the 2009 NBA Finals to register as the night’s No. 1 TV show in viewers and key adults.  In a game that went into overtime, the Los Angeles Lakers won Game 4 by a score of 99-91, bringing Los Angeles’ lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-1.

  • ABC’s 2009 NBA Finals Game 4 outperformed the year-ago high-profile 2008 Lakers-Celtics contest by 16% in viewers and by 12% in young adults (13.8 million & 5.7/16 on 6/12/08), representing the biggest Game 4 since 2004. On average through four games, The Finals are up year to year in both Total Viewers (+4% – 14.4 million vs. 13.8 million) and Adults 18-49 (+5% – 5.9/18 vs. 5.6/17), tracking as the 2nd-highest-ever 4-game averages on ABC – highest since 2004 and ABC began carriage in 2003.  Some of biggest year-to-year gains for the NBA are coming among younger viewers, as the 2009 Finals are up with viewers under 35: Adults 18-34 +5% (6.0/20 vs. 5.7/19), Men 18-34 +8% (7.9/26 vs. 7.3/25), Teens 12-17 +29% (4.0/16 vs. 3.1/12) and Kids 2-11 +11% (2.0/9 vs. 1.8/9).  In fact the ’09 Finals are generating the youngest median age for the NBA Championships in 5 years (since ’04), trending 1.5 years younger than last year’s series (40.4 years vs. 41.9 years).

  • In Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, the games of the 2009 NBA Championship Series account for each of the Top 4 telecasts since the end of the TV Season in May (5/20/09) and Summer ’09. In addition, the ’09 NBA Finals have registered TV’s Top 4 telecasts since ABC’s Oscar broadcast in February among hard-to-reach Men 18-34 – literally topping tens of thousands of primetime TV telecasts on broadcast and cable over the 4-month period.

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), 6/11/09.

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