The NBA Finals 2022 opens for ABC.
The first game of the series, the Boston Celtics’ 120-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors, drew 11.4 million viewers – the largest audience of the opening series in three years, according to Nielsen. An ESPN2 simulation added 501,000 viewers.
Total 11.9 million viewers on the two channels, up 39% from last year’s opening match, the average number was 8.56 million viewers (on ABC only). ABC’s TV channel alone has improved by 33% year on year.
Thursday’s game attendance also surpassed any NBA Finals game – save last year’s Friday decisive game – in 2020 and ’21.
The ABC broadcast also achieved a rating of 3.63 among adults aged 18-49, up 27% from 2.86 for the 2021 series’ opening. Adding to a rating of 0, 17 for ESPN2 simulcast, 3.8 rating up 33 percent year-over-year.
The ratings increase for Thursday’s game is in line with the NBA’s overall rise this season. Regular-season games have the highest average viewership (1.6 million) since the 2018-19 season, and each knockout also hit a multi-year high (with a previous note). last season, Nielsen ratings do not include home viewing rates).
Having two of the league’s most recognizable teams – both playing in the top 10 media markets – may have helped with Thursday’s adjustment. The NBA Finals also returned to normal home turf in early June after a two-year delay related to the pandemic. Last year’s finals started on July 6, a month later than usual; The 2020 series is broadcast in September and October.
NBA telecast is the most watched program during prime time Thursday. Run again Young Sheldon on CBS (3.86 million viewers) is a distant second, while CBS News produces Her Majesty the Queen: A Gayle King Special sucked 3.13 million.
Bookmark THR.com/Ratings for more news and ratings.
June 3, 2:05 pm Updated to reflect ratings that are not necessarily final.
June 6, 2 p.m Updated with confirmation that the original rating is indeed final.
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