Game 5 Is Most-Watched NBA Finals Game In 5 Years, As ABC Scores Most-Watched Summer Sunday In 10 Years

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via press release:

With Continuing Coverage of the 2010 NBA Finals, ABC Wins Sunday By Wide Margins for the 2nd Straight Week in Viewers and Adults 18-49

ABC Scores Most-Watched Summer Sunday in 10 Years

For the 5th Straight Telecast of the 2010 Series, the “NBA Finals on ABC” Finishes as the No. 1 TV Program with Viewers and All Key Adult Demos

Game 5 Stands as the Most-Watched for Any NBA Finals Game in 5 Years

The NBA Finals Generates its Best Results in 6 Years, Registering the Second-Strongest-Ever Numbers on ABC

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

With continuing coverage of the 2010 NBA Finals (Celtics-Lakers Game 5), ABC towered over its competition for the 2nd straight Sunday.  Based on Nielsen’s preliminary time-period-based “Fast Affiliate” ratings, ABC outpaced its nearest competition during primetime by 5.3 million viewers (12.8 million vs. 7.5 million – CBS w/”64th Annual Tony Awards”) and by 147% in Adults 18-49 (4.8/14 vs. 1.5/5 – Fox).  In Adults 18-49, ABC outperformed the combined delivery of CBS, NBC and Fox by 30% on the evening (4.8/14 vs. 3.7/11).  It was ABC’s 5th consecutive primetime win with coverage of the 2010 NBA Finals.

  • Based on projected National ratings, ABC scored its most-watched summer Sunday in 10 years and top-rated among Adults 18-49 in 6 years – since 6/11/00 and 6/13/04, respectively.

“NBA Finals on ABC – GM 5” (8:04 – 11:00 p.m., ET “Fast National Ratings”)

Based on Nielsen’s special-ordered program-based “Fast National” ratings, the “NBA Finals on ABC – GM 5” outpaced its primetime competitors to register as Sunday’s No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (18.2 million) and across each of the key Adult demos: A18-34 (6.8 rating), A18-49 (7.0 rating) and A25-54 (7.3 rating). It was the 5th consecutive airing for the 2010 NBA Finals to qualify as the No. 1 TV show of the night in viewers and key adults. The Boston Celtics defeated the LA Lakers by a score of 92-86, to lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.

  • Game 5 stood as the strongest yet for the 2010 NBA Finals in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49.  In fact it stood as the most-watched overall for any NBA Finals game in 5 years – since the series-clinching Game 7 of the 2005 Pistons-Spurs Series on 6/23/05.  Furthermore, it was the largest overall audience for a non-series-clinching NBA Championship contest since 2004 – since Game 4 of the 2004 Lakers-Pistons Series on 6/13/04.

  • In viewers and young adults, it was the best Game 5 for the NBA Championship Series in 6 years and the second-highest-ever on ABC – since the series-clinching Game 5 of the 2004 Pistons-Lakers series on 6/15/04.
  • Based on 5-game averages, the 2010 NBA Championship Series continues to pull the highest numbers in 6 years (since 2004), its 2nd-strongest-ever on ABC in both Total Viewers (16.1 million) and Adults 18-49 (6.5/19). Versus the first five games of 2009 (Lakers-Magic), The Finals on ABC is growing year to year by 1.8 million viewers and by 10% in Adults 18-49 (14.3 million and 5.9/18).

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 36% currently, from 31% at the same point in 2009. 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: The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate time period and Fast National Program Live + Same Day Ratings), 6/13/10.

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