When Orlando won to go up 3-1, I wondered if ABC should have started worrying about the TV ratings of the NBA Finals. Well, ABC’s worst nightmare of a Lakers elimination was avoided, but now that the Cavaliers have been eliminated the much hoped for Kobe-LeBron battle will have to wait for another year.

We’ve had a lot of discussion on the site about what the TV ratings might be if the matchup was this or that, but now that the Lakers/Magic matchup is set it’s time to throw down your guess for the average viewership for the entire NBA Finals series.

Our table of the historical NBA Finals ratings might be helpful.

As I have written many times, the number of games in the series is a very important factor in the final average, really the only one left much to chance now that the teams are known.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have handy tables of game by game viewership numbers for the 2008 (although you are welcome to hunt around on our site for them) or 2007 series, but here are the overall and game by game averages for 2006 and 2005. Note that you can’t calculate the series average exactly from these game averages because of the different telecast times.

2006 Miami v. Dallas

(overall avg. 12.972 million)

Game Avg. Viewers (million)
1 11.514
2 12.410
3 12.246
4 11.561
5 14.318
6 15.710

2005 San Antonio v. Detroit

(overall avg. 12.544 million)

Game Avg. Viewers (million)
1 10.569
2 10.624
3 10.643
4 10.881
5 13.091
6 13.471
7 18.997

This year’s matchup isn’t nearly as interesting to casual fans as last year’s was (which averaged 14.91 million), so I’ll guess 13 million average viewers.

Take your best shot at a guess in the comments.

Sorry, no prize like our Burn Notice contest, just bragging rights 😉

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Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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