TV Ratings Sunday: NBA Finals Game 3 Leads ABC to Easy Win, US Open a Distant Second

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June 18th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 4.8/14 2.1/6 1.2/4 1.0/3 0.8/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 5.0/17 1.4/5 1.4/5 1.0/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (million)  11.491 8.777 2.687 2.658 5.394


Due to the nature of live  programming the ratings for NBC (The US Open) and ABC (NBA Finals) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

ABC won the night in adults 18-49 and in in total viewers.

On ABC, Game 3 of the NBA Finals earned a 5.5  adults 18-49 rating and dominated everything else on TV.

On NBC, The US Open earned 2.7 adults 18-49 rating and was followed by a repeat of Betty White's Off Their Rockers.

FOX and CBS were all repeats for the evening

Broadcast primetime ratings for Sunday, June 17, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00 PM NBC 2012 US Open Golf Championship 7-10:30p
2.3 7 9.453
ABC Jimmy Kimmel NBA Special 1.9 8  5.226
CBS 60 Minutes 1.0 4  7.345
FOX American Dad -R 0.8 3  1.686
7:30 PM ABC KIA Pre-Game Show 2.6 9  6.448
FOX Cleveland Show -R 1.0 4  2.804
8:00 PM ABC 2012 NBA Finals OKC vs. Miami 8-11p
5.5 15 13.376
 FOX  The Simpsons -R 1.2 4 2.823
CBS Blue Bloods 0.7 2 5.037
8:30PM FOX Bob's Burgers -R 1.2 4 2.628
9:00PM FOX Family Guy -R 1.6 5 3.644
CBS The Good Wife  -R 0.5 1 4.224
9:30 PM FOX American Dad -R 1.4 4 3.258
10:00PM CBS The Mentalist -R 0.8 2 4.972
10:30 PM NBC Betty White's Off Their Rockers -R 1.1 3 4.046

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


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live baseball game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.

  • K

    NBA finals would be hire, if the games started earlier. I don’t get the reason why Jimmy Kimmel is on before the game. He is not even that funny.

  • cc

    @Caseyabell, I was referring to your first post, but the other is good too.

  • Nadine

    Honestly, sweetie, what did you expect for a summer rerun opp. NBA finals, US Open and new cable programming? I’m a big TGW fan — but did you expect me and my ilk to watch it?

  • Nadine

    Good for the Open! Nice ratings.

  • Gary A

    A few observations, comments, w/e:

    Basketball ( particularly the champoinships ) & FOX animation draw younger ( 18 – 34 ) and predominantly male viewers. Notice how both ABC and FOX drop in the total demos when you go from 18 – 34 to the 18 – 49.

    TBTN is a site I really enjoy getting info from and I do like reading many of the comments. But, I too think that they do a disservice by implying that only the 18 – 49 demo matters. It’s the most sought after, it gets the highest ad rate. But that’s like dismissing all other viewers as being inconsequential ( under 18 and over 50 ). Household income, ethnicity, education also are valued by some advertisers and they target that market with shows that draw those viewers regardless of the demo ( 18 – 49 ).

    CBS does extremely well in the 18 – 49 demo during the regular season. But they also utilize the 25 – 54 demo in many of their programming decisions. And I would bet that they make advertising dollars off that group.

  • Silvio

    NBA finals would be hire, if the games started earlier. I don’t get the reason why Jimmy Kimmel is on before the game. He is not even that funny.

    9PM EST (8PM at Sundays) start means 6PM PST (5PM Sun). If they’d start games earlier, they’d lose significant part of West Coast viewership.

  • Silvio

    I wonder if there was any overlapping for golf and basketball. If there was I would expect it be a small one.

    NBA finals Game 3 is something like 10% down compared to first 2 games. Then overlap was *at most* 10%.
    Should Tiger Woods not had bad Saturday and then imploded very early on Sunday, that would be another thing … but we’ll never know.

  • Lucas’

    I love to see CBS in the bottle! Their shows are terrible and so old!

  • Hmm

    @Gary A

    While I do agree that 18-49 is the most sought after and by far the most important factor for shows surviving, I do not see a situation where advertisers will pay more for a show with a single viewer watching (and that person being 18-49), than a show with 10 million people watching (with all of them being over-49s). I know this is an impossible scenario, but I am trying to use common sense to counter the conventional wisdom that 18-49 is the only demographic that matters.

  • hubert_wentland

    @Dean_W: the repeat beats every thing else on CBS last night, and it’s not even in its regular timeslot (i mean not yet). I think The Mentalist will pretty much of a hit in the fall, will be winning its timeslot.

  • Joseph

    I have to agree with Zach: The U.S. Open Golf tournament would have nosed-out the NBA Finals had Tiger Woods been in cointention.

  • TJH

    Golf is for viewers with money, but these viewers also happen to skew older.
    No coincidence there. The older you get the more assets you have.
    But in terms of widespread popularity there is no comparison between NBA and PGA, basketball blows it away, as it should. These NBA finals have 2 of the biggest stars in the NBA, and a handful of the best overall players in their prime and just getting to their prime. If it goes to 7 games, it could be one of the most watched finals of all time.

  • Networkman

    It is interesting how CBS is trying Blue Bloods repeats @8pm following 60 Minutes. They probably figure fans of 60 Minutes will stick around to watch Tom Selleck. I wonder if this would be an option on CBS in the future. Blue Bloods share such a different audience than Once Upon a Time & Simpsons. This family cop drama might just perform well in originals on Sundays @8pm.

  • Holly


    I can’t see moving Blue Bloods from Friday being a net win for CBS. Amazing Race gets better numbers than Blue Bloods could and it’s doubtful anything else could do as well as Blue Bloods on Friday.

  • sebacon

    that is a really bad rating for cbs

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Holly: FYI I got rid of the “watch the Mentalist!” spammer but if you see it crop up again e-mail me.

  • TatiG

    People are comparing 18-49 decision making to people who invest. People who are rich do not buy stuff because they saw an ad. That would be stupid. They make decisions based on face to face meetings.

    You wouldn’t invest a million dollar in a business just because you saw the Ad. Now that would be stupid.

  • David Howell

    18-49 is the “usual” demographic that influences ad money, and it’s what most advertisers target – especially the “monthly bill” companies who rely on drawing in consumers early knowing they’ll stick around. Insurers, for instance.

    But golf draws a specific audience that specific advertisers will target heavily. Luxury cars, expensive jewellry, investment companies… heck, golf equipment in itself is a big-money market.

    It comes down to dollars-per-viewer. Usually, that means younger viewers – and that’s why 18-49 is such a strong predictor of renewal prospects and total viewers such a weak one (we should codify that as “Harry’s Law”, in recognition of that show’s cancellation). Golf is an easily explained exception to Harry’s Law. :)

  • Gabriel

    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:38 AM
    I wonder if there was any overlapping for golf and basketball. If there was I would expect it be a small one.

    NBA finals Game 3 is something like 10% down compared to first 2 games.


    Maybe having an 8PM EST tip-off did it. Previous games tipped off at 9PM EST.

  • Ryan

    I don’t understand why Family Guy has better ratings than American Dad. The latter is far better.

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