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ABC Finds NBA Ratings Absolutely Golden

ABC Finds NBA Ratings Absolutely Golden

A post-season playoff packed with lackluster, lopsided games finally got the rematch that apparently everybody wanted. And maybe needed.

The result? Ratings gold for ABC and its parent, Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS), which has posted numbers not seen since Michael Jordan won his sixth and final NBA Finals ring way back in 1998.

The Golden State Warriors beat the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland on Monday night to claim their second championship in three years. As ruthlessly dominant as the Warriors appeared to be, the series was a tonic for ABC.

By The Numbers

The first three games of the series — including the 118–113 cliffhanger in Game 3 that put the Warriors up 3–0 — averaged roughly 20 million viewers.

The Friday night game, a Cleveland victory that snapped Golden State’s unbeaten playoff streak this postseason, managed to draw nearly 13 million viewers — the biggest audience of a night that many people go out rather than tune in TV. There were more than 19 million views if you count internet streaming.

NBA Finals Perfect Storm In Imperfect World

What seems like an endlessly numbing cycle of bad news both domestically and around the world set the stage for contemporary icons such as LeBron James of Cleveland and Golden State superstars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

“You have two teams that people are interested in,” Marc Berman, who runs the ratings blog Programming Insider, “I also think the state of the world and the state of the country, people love sports and it’s a great escape. You can escape the reality of your own life.”

The surprisingly big number for the Friday night game should send a message to the networks about scheduling.

“That tells me that they can be more aggressive,” he said of the networks. “People wanted to watch that matchup and watch those two teams compete no matter what the day.”

“You can’t knock those two teams.”

Related Link: Under Armour In The Midst Of An NBA Finals Rally
Image Credit: By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Stephen Curry) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: ABC Cleveland Cavaliers Golden State WarriorsSports Top Stories Markets Media General Best of Benzinga


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