ABC Tips Off Its NBA Finals Coverage

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler dribbles while Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope defends during the first quarter of an NBA game at Kaseya Center on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023
(Image credit: Getty images )

ABC will tip off coverage of its 21st consecutive NBA Finals tonight with Game 1 between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat. 

The NBA Finals features the Western Conference champion Nuggets — who are playing in the Finals for the first time in their 47 years in the league — against the Eastern Conference champion Heat, who enter the finals as the first eighth seed since the 1998-99 New York Knicks.

The league heads into the finals on a ratings roll. NBA playoff games averaged 4.7 million viewers across TNT, ESPN and ABC — up 13% from last year and its best performance heading into the finals since 2012, according to Nielsen numbers reported by Sports Business Journal.

The numbers were bolstered by a strong conference finals round that averaged 7.6 million viewers, up 10% from last year. TNT’s May 29 Heat-Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 telecast led all games with 11.9 million viewers, the most watched conference finals game on the network since TNT’s 2018 Golden State Warriors-Houston Rockets game, according to SBJ. 

Last year’s Celtics-Warriors NBA Finals on ABC averaged 12.7 million viewers.

Veteran NBA announcer Mike Breen will call the games along with analysts Jeff Gundy and Mark Jackson, with Lisa Salters reporting during the telecasts. ABC will deploy 55 total cameras during the finals, including 15 Super Slo-Mo Cameras to capture the action, according to the network. 

ABC's NBA Finals Television Schedule (Start times EST)

June 1 -- Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets, 8:30 pm

June 4 -- Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets, 8:30 pm

June 7 -- Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat, 8:30 pm

June 9 -- Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat, 8:30 pm

June 12 -- Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets, 8:30 pm (If necessary)

June 15 -- Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat, 8:30 (If necessary)

June 18 -- Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets, 8:30 (If necessary)

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.