ABC’s Coverage of the 2012 NBA Finals Game 1 Dominates Tuesday, Towering Over All-Original Unscripted Competition on Both NBC and Fox

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 13th, 2012

via press release:

ABC Hits its Best-Ever Primetime Results with the Opening Night of The Finals


ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Generates Broad Primetime Exposure, Up by 83%

In Viewers and by 100% in Adults 18-49 Over its Late-Night Season Averages


Miami-Oklahoma City 2012 NBA Finals Game 1 Towers over Primetime, Standing as Tuesday’s No. 1 Program and as TV’s Top-Rated Telecast Since April in Adults 18-49


Scoring the Series’ Most-Watched Start Ever on ABC, the 2012

NBA Finals Opens with the Biggest Audience for Any Game 1 in 11 Years


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

With coverage of the 2012 NBA Finals Game 1 between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, ABC dominated Tuesday night, outrunning its nearest competitors by 4.1 million viewers (11.3 million vs. 7.2 million – CBS) and by 124% in Adults 18-49 (4.7/14 vs. 2.1/6 – NBC and Fox tied).  The Net also took full control of the night with Adults 18-34, Adults 25-54 and across all key Men (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54), defeating all-original unscripted competition on both NBC (“American Ninja Warrior”/”America’s Got Talent”/”Love in the  Wild”) and Fox (“Hell’s Kitchen”/”MasterChef”).


  • Building over last year’s numbers with the opening night of the high-rated 2011 Miami-Dallas NBA Finals (on 5/31/11) in Total Viewers (+4% - 11.3 million vs. 10.9 million) and Adults 18-49 (+4% - 4.7/13 vs. 4.5/13), ABC posted its best-ever primetime results with Game 1 of The Finals – ABC began carriage of the NBA Finals in 2003. 


“Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night 1” (Various Time Periods)

Airing around the NBA Finals in various time periods across the country, “Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night” generated broad exposure for the ABC late-night talker in primetime.  On average, “JKL Game Night” shot up by 83% in Total Viewers (3.3 million vs. 1.8 million) and by 100% in Adults 18-49 (1.0/3 vs. 0.5/2) over the show’s 2011-12 TV Season average in late night. During the just-completed season, ABC’s “JKL” wrapped its most-watched season in 5 years (best since 2006-07), representing the show’s 2nd-biggest season in its 10-year history.


“NBA Finals on ABC Game 1” (9:04 – 11:46 p.m. E.T.)

Featuring the Miami Heat at the Oklahoma City Thunder, ABC’s 2012 NBA Finals Game 1 towered over its primetime competition and finished as Tuesday’s definitive No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (16.2 million) and across each of the key Adult demographics:  A18-34 (7.0/22), A18-49 (6.9/19) and A25-54 (6.9/17).  Oklahoma City won the opening game of the series by a score of 105-94 to lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.  In fact among Adults 18-49, the 2012 NBA Finals Game 1 stands as the No. 1 TV telecast since the beginning of April (since 4/2/12), notably topping the “American Idol” finale in May by 8% (6.9/19 vs. 6.4/18 on 5/23/12).


  • Game 1 of the 2012 Finals was up solidly over the first game of last year’s Miami-Dallas matchup in viewers (+7% - 16.2 million vs. 15.2 million) and young adults (+6% - 6.9/19 vs. 6.5/18).


  • Qualifying as the most-watched start ever on ABC, the 2012 NBA Finals drew the biggest audience for any Game 1 in 11 years – since 2001.  In addition, ABC hit its highest-ever NBA Finals Game 1 numbers among Adults 18-34 (7.0/22), Men 18-34 (9.0/29-tie) and Teens 12-17 (4.6/17).


  • Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals delivered a 30.5 Household rating in Miami and a record-setting 44.3 rating in Oklahoma City (highest-ever rating for any NBA game in the OKC market).
  • JS

    Maybe the NBA will take notice and move the semis off of cable and on to the network. Dumb move by having the semis on ESPN and TNT

  • USAmerica1st

    @JS Totally agree. But ESPN loves it when it can rack up those big ratings, towering over some of the network shows.

  • tatiG

    @JS, I would hate to lose the TNT crew that early. ESPN on the other hand, yeah, put them on Broadcast.

  • Melanie P.

    Awesome! This is definetly the dream finals matchup that mostly everyone was wanting to see. Tonight’s game should be great also. Let’s go Heat!

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