NBA Finals Generates Highest-Ever Game 1 Overnight Rating on ABC

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

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June 13th, 2012

via press release:

NBA Finals Generates Highest-Ever Game 1 Overnight Rating on ABC

The NBA Finals Game 1 on ABC – Oklahoma City defeated Miami to take a 1-0 series lead – generated a record 11.8 overnight rating, the highest ever for a Game 1 on the network, according to Nielsen. The game peaked with a 14.1 rating from 11:30 to 11:45 p.m. ET.

The 11.8 rating is up 10 percent compared to last year’s Finals Game 1 (Miami vs. Dallas), which earned a 10.7. The previous record for Game 1 was an 11.6 in 2004 (Detroit vs. L.A. Lakers).

In Oklahoma City, the game generated a 44.3 rating, the highest for an NBA game ever in the market. In Miami, the game generated a 30.5 rating.

The Kia NBA Countdown pregame show averaged a 4.6 overnight rating, up 28 percent from a 3.6 for last year’s Game 1 pregame show.

The 2012 NBA Finals will continue with Game 2 on Thursday, June 14, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN Radio and ESPN3.

  • ZapBob

    I hope it goes SEVEN

  • OutOfSync

    “…highest ever for a Game 1 on the network.”

    So I’m guessing this isn’t an all-time high?

  • OutOfSync

    looks like the highest rated Game 1 in the NBA Finals was 18.0 for Bulls vs. Jazz in 1998 when NBC broadcast the NBA

  • ManInMotion

    And that considering OKC is the 44th TV market in the USA.

  • Lane

    Guess OKC isn’t that bad of a market after all

  • Dallas

    Hopefully NBC can nab the rights back from NBC in 2016.

  • Silvio

    Final rating should be something like 10.0 HH, 7.0 A18-49 and 17 million viewers.
    That is big, last year NBA finals average was 7.15 A18-49 and 17.4 mil. total viewers.
    This finals started at that level and ratings always go up when elimination game(s) come.

    ABC primetime average in season 2011-12 is around 5.0 HH, so this Game 1 doubles it.
    In 90’s there was much less fragmentation, that 18.0 HH from 1998 is big (thanks to MJ), but I bet it doesn’t double NBC’s season average from those times.

  • Cody


    NBC won’t be able to afford it in 2016 with the way they are going right now.

  • rick

    Due to very weak network competition and so many people anxious to see LeBron crash and burn.

  • tatiG

    @Cody, spot on. Looks like NBC will become a nice network. Showing sports like soccer & hockey.

    Besides, I prefer ESPN + ABC to keep the rights. Much better way of reaching broader audience.

  • Voltron

    Not surprising because this is the first Finals featuring two “new” teams in a long time. We’ve been bogged down with Laker, Celtics, Spurs, Pistons finals year after year it’s boring. We get the Miami Heat with most famous NBA player LeBron James on one side, and we have a brand new fresh OKC Thunder team featuring all brand new faces. Either way the NBA is showing it is moving FORWARD and is not trying to re-create the past anymore.

  • Melanie

    @Voltron, I agree. It is nice to see two “newer” teams with so much excitement building around them and their futures. Wished the Heat would have won, but it was still a great game and I am sure this will be a great series that will probably go seven games.

  • larry donny

    @ dallas, whats wrong with ABC handling the game. I prefer any network but NBC. why not Cbs or FOX. NBC sucks big time

  • zodd

    “Guess OKC isn’t that bad of a market after all”

    Only when it’s against the Heat. People want to see the Heat lose and Bron’s bitter tears. So far their off to a good start. :)

  • whoever

    Liars. Not that many people are watching the nba finals.

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