NBA Finals: Audience Up 1% Through 4 Games

With the San Antonio Spurs on the verge of winning the NBA title that eluded them last year, ABC’s presentation of The Finals is up marginally from last year through the first four games.

The Spurs’ second consecutive road blowout of the two-time defending champion Miami Heat averaged a 9.3 rating and 14.96 million watchers on June 12, according to Nielsen data, down 7% and 8% from the Game 4 matches between the clubs in the 2013 version of The Finals. The telecast peaked with 16.7 million viewers in the 11 p.m. quarter hour.

Despite the series’ first downturn, ABC easily won the night in rating and viewership across all television for the 41st consecutive time.

Through the first four games, the Spurs/Heat redux has averaged a 9.1 rating, inching up from a 9.0 and ahead 1% to 14.9 million viewers from 14.8 million a year ago.

How many viewers will tune in to see whether Miami can stave off the Spurs, or whether San Antonio can claim its fifth title before its hometown crowd? Last year, Game 5 – the teams were knotted at two games apiece – netted a 9.5 rating and 16.3 million viewers.

From there, the series heated up with the epic battles in Game 6 and Game 7 that produced big ratings and vaulted Spurs-Heat I to ABC’s third-best Finals averages of a 10.5 and 17.7 million since its coverage re-entry in 2003.