2012 NBA Finals Game 1 TV Ratings Up 6%, Viewership Up 7% vs. Last Season

Categories: 1-Featured,TV Ratings Reference,TV Sports Ratings & News

Written By

June 13th, 2012

The 2012 NBA Finals TV ratings started up vs. last season's game 1. The 6.9 adults 18-49 rating was up 6% vs. game 1 last season, and the average viewership of 16.2 million was up 7%. That's not quite the increase that a plurality of our polled readers expected, but there are at least 3 more games to come.

2012 NBA Finals TV Ratings & Viewership:

NBA Finals TV Ratings, 1974-2011

Year Net Games HH Rating HH Share Average HHs (million) Average Viewers (million) Teams
2011 ABC 6 10.1  11.725 17.28 Heat/Mavericks
2010 ABC 7 10.6 18.144 Lakers/Celtics
2009 ABC 5 8.4 9.642 14.347 Lakers/Orlando
2008 ABC 6 9.3 17 10.530 14.941 Boston/Lakers
2007 ABC 4 6.2 11 6.912 9.289 San Antonio/Cleveland
2006 ABC 6 8.5 15 9.332 12.972 Miami/Dallas
2005 ABC 7 8.2 15 8.951 12.544 San Antonio/Detroit
2004 ABC 5 11.5 20 12.451 17.942 Detroit/Lakers
2003 ABC 6 6.5 12 6.955 9.864 San Antonio/New Jersey
2002 NBC 4 10.2 19 10.752 15.678 Lakers/New Jersey
2001 NBC 5 12.1 23 12.390 18.996 Lakers/Philadelphia
2000 NBC 6 11.6 21 11.677 17.402 Lakers/Indiana
1999 NBC 5 11.3 21 11.205 16.014 San Antonio/New York
1998 NBC 6 18.7 33 18.336 29.040 Chicago/Utah
1997 NBC 6 16.8 30 16.291 25.586 Chicago/Utah
1996 NBC 6 16.7 31 16.019 24.858 Chicago/Seattle
1995 NBC 4 13.9 25 13.284 20.078 Houston/Orlando
1994 NBC 5 12.0 23 11.291 17.253 Houston/New York
1993 NBC 6 17.9 33 16.694 27.209 Chicago/Phoenix
1992 NBC 6 14.2 27 13.097 20.838 Chicago/Portland
1991 NBC 5 15.8 32 14.750 23.910 Chicago/Lakers
1990 CBS 5 12.3 25 11.320 17.190 Detroit/Portland
1989 CBS 4 15.1 30 13.620 21.260 Detroit/Lakers
1988 CBS 7 15.4 31 13.620 21.700 Lakers/Detroit
1987 CBS 6 16.7 35 14.600 24.120 Lakers/Boston
1986 CBS 6 14.1 31 14.430 Boston/ Houston
1985 CBS 6 13.5 30 Lakers/Boston
1984 CBS 7 12.1 26 Boston/Lakers
1983 CBS 4 12.3 26 Philadelphia/Lakers
1982 CBS 6 13.0 28 Lakers/Philadelphia
1981 CBS 6 6.7 27 Boston/Houston
1980 CBS 6 8.0 29 Lakers/Philadelphia
1979 CBS 5 7.2 24 Seattle/Washington
1978 CBS 7 9.9 25 Washington/Seattle
1977 CBS 6 12.7 33 Portland/Philadelphia
1976 CBS 6 11.5 29 Boston/Phoenix
1975 CBS 4 10.1 28 6.920 11.380 Golden State/Washington
1974 CBS 7 13.5 32 Boston/Milwaukee

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2006-11 data is Live+SD, all previous years are Live viewing.

Of course we know that viewership and HH ratings have no bearing on the advertising revenue for ABC, but like most historical data from Nielsen we have, we lack the important adults 18-49 ratings.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2012 The Nielsen Company All Rights Reserved.

 
  • Gil

    Bill –

    One question. The figure reported in the final Tuesday ratings were for 9-11pm. Since the highest viewership is towards the end of the game, it would seem that the avg. numbers would be higher for the entire game.

    Are the historical numbers only for primetime as well, or do they include the entire game?

  • David

    I thought that game one would have gotten 17 million, but I do know that if Miami can actually make this competitive (which I highly doubt), it could hit over 20 million for a game 5, 6, and 7

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Gil- those numbers were for 9-11:46p, the label just didn’t get updated. it has been now.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Are the historical numbers only for primetime as well, or do they include the entire game?”

    All the numbers in this post are for entire games (and in the table they are averages for each series of entire games).

  • Mike

    Do we have final overall rating yet? Did Game 1 crack 10.0?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Do we have final overall rating yet? Did Game 1 crack 10.0?”

    The household rating was a 9.9.

  • Illhaveanother

    That’s a very good rating. If this series goes 7, it’ll flirt with 20 million avg

  • Illhaveanother

    Question for Bill or Robert? Where does this rank among games 1’s for ABC? I know they took over the NBA finals in 2003

  • Illhaveanother

    Sorry for the ? After your names

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    It was ABC’s best game 1 in viewers, but not sure where it ranks with 18-49.

  • Illhaveanother

    @Robert Thank you sir

  • Silvio

    Spotted ratings says 2004 Game 1 (Pistons/Lakers) had 7.0 A18-49.
    http://www.spottedratings.com/2012/06/spotted-ratings-tuesday-61212.html
    Wiki says that 2004 game had 9.8 HH rating.

    Then Monday’s game is No2 in A18-49 and No1 in HH (counting ABC only, since 2003).

  • njw

    National Boring Association=ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • The Bandit

    What could hurt the NBA finals on Thursday and Sunday is the U.S. Open going on at the same time in San Francisco.

    Sunday’s golf won’t end until about 9:30 p.m. Eastern time, and if Tiger is in the hunt, the NBA ratings will suffer.

  • jj

    I doubt golf can hurt NBA ratings

  • lol

    its sad that people are rooting against the nba..
    get a life

  • jj

    It really is sad and pathetic. I love the NBA

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