Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for ABC (NBA Finals) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.
The NBA Finals Game 7 had the best viewership since 1998, and the ratings were a lot prettier than the game itself.

Repeating the caveat that these fast affiliate ratings are subject to substantial revision in the final numbers for live events like sports and that these ratings include only the primetime portion of the NBA game.

The NBA Finals Game 7 primetime portion (9-11p) tallied an 8.5 adults 18-49 rating, that was up 107% from the primetime portion of Game 5 last season, and up 57% from the primetime portion of this year’s Game 6 on Tuesday. Last night’s game was also up from the NBA Finals’ most recent Game 7 (Detroit Pistons vs. San Antonio Spurs), which closed the 2005 series with a 6.2 rating from 9-11p in the Fast Nationals before rising to a 7.6 rating from 9:14p-12:04a in the Finals (on Thursday 6/23/05).

Here is updated information on the game from ABC’s press release:

NBA Finals on ABC – GM 7” (9:04 – 11:59 p.m., ET)

  • The “NBA Finals on ABC – GM 7” towered over its primetime competitors to stand as Thursday’s No. 1 TV program in Total Viewers (28.2 million) and across each of the key Adult demos: A18-34 (11.8/38), A18-49 (11.4/33) and A25-54 (11.2/30). It was the 7th consecutive broadcast for the 2010 NBA Finals to rank as the No. 1 TV show of the evening in viewers and key adults. Claiming their 16th NBA title, the LA Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics by a score of 83-79.
  • With Game 7, ABC scored its best-ever numbers in its eight years of broadcasting the NBA Finals (beginning in 2003) with Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. In fact on both Nielsen measures, Game 7 of the 2010 championship series registered as the biggest for any NBA Finals telecast in 12 years – since the series-clinching Game 6 of the 1998 Bulls-Jazz series on 6/14/98.
  • In viewers and young adults, Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals also qualified as TV’s top non-Olympics summer (Memorial Day-Labor Day) telecast in nearly 10 years – since 8/23/00.
  • On average, the 2010 NBA Finals produced the championship series’ biggest audience ever on ABC and its 2nd-highest Adult 18-49 numbers (18.1 million and 7.3/22). In fact it finished as the most-watched NBA Finals overall in 9 years – since 2001 (Philadelphia-LA Lakers). Versus the 5-game 2009 Lakers-Magic series, The Finals on ABC surged year to year by 3.8 million viewers and by 21% in Adults 18-49 (14.3 million and 5.9/17).

In the shadow of the NBA Finals, the 9pm original So You Think You Can Dance falling 15% to a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating is no surprise.

100 Questions continued to raise little interest, with the same 0.7 adults 18-49 rating as last week.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (Millions)
8:00 ABC Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night 4.6 17 12.649
FOX Glee (repeat) 1.4 5 3.787
CBS The Mentalist (repeat) 1.1 4 6.960
NBC Community (repeat) 0.8 3 2.572
CW The Vampire Diaries (repeat) 0.5 2 1.339
8:30 ABC NBA Countdown 6.2 20 16.344
FOX Glee (repeat) 1.6 5 4.304
CBS The Mentalist (repeat) 1.2 4 7.480
NBC 100 Questions 0.7 2 2.047
CW The Vampire Diaries (repeat) 0.5 2 1.358
9:00 ABC NBA Finals Game 7 Boston v. LA 7.7 23 19.580
FOX So You Think You Can Dance 2.2 7 6.095
CBS CSI (repeat) 1.4 4 7.966
NBC The Office (repeat) 1.0 3 2.482
CW Moonlight (repeat) 0.4 1 1.187
9:30 ABC NBA Finals Game 7 Boston v. LA 8.2 23 20.410
FOX So You Think You Can Dance 2.2 6 6.042
CBS CSI (repeat) 1.6 4 8.570
NBC 30 Rock (repeat) 1.0 3 2.379
CW Moonlight (repeat) 0.5 1 1.278
10:00 ABC NBA Finals Game 7 Boston v. LA 8.4 24 20.792
CBS The Mentalist (repeat) 1.5 4 8.209
NBC The Office (repeat) 0.9 2 2.043
10:30 ABC NBA Finals Game 7 Boston v. LA 9.7 28 23.396
CBS The Mentalist (repeat) 1.5 4 8.188
NBC Parks and Recreation (repeat) 0.7 2 1.798

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.


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 football 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 which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. 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.

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