LeBron's Finals Draw $279M for ESPN/ABC

The seven-game drama of the NBA Finals generated an estimated $279.3 million in advertising revenue for ESPN/ABC, according to iSpot.tv.

LeBron James’ heroics for the Cleveland Cavaliers helped draw huge ratings for the championship deciding game Sunday night, which had an 18.9 overnight rating, the highest ever for ABC. The Cavs beat the Golden State Warriors to win their first title ever and Cleveland’s first in any major sport in 52 years.

Ads during the finals generated nearly 4.2 billion impressions on TV. Nearly all, 98.4% were live or same day, and on average, 87% of spots during the game were viewed all the way through.

The top spender during the finals was Samsung Mobile, at $54.6 million.  Other big spenders were Toyota, Universal Pictures, Nissan and Warner Brothers.

The brands whose ads generated the most digital engagement, according to iSpot, which monitors Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all major search engines, was Apple iPhone, Verizon, Allstate, Sprint and McDonald’s.

One commercial generating a lot of buzz was a Verizon ad featuring Jamie Foxx that aired during Game 7. Allstate’s spot featuring Leslie Jones of Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live, generated the second most buzz.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.