Primetime Ratings: NBA Finals Opener Tops Last Year With 14.8M Viewers

A thrilling opening game of the 2014 NBA Finals helped ABC easily break away from its competition on Thursday night, with the network drawing an overall 4.3 rating/15 share among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen.

The Spurs’ victory over the Heat – in a game that will be known as much for an A/C malfunction that caused Miami star LeBron James to sit out the final four minutes – topped last year’s opening game between the same two teams by 4% with 14.85 million total viewers.

In the demo, the game drew a 6.0 rating, which was also three tenths higher than last year. In the 8 p.m. hour, Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night drew a 1.1 rating and Kia NBA Countdown posted a 2.0.

Fox and NBC, the only other networks to air new programing, tied with CBS’ repeats for second with a 1.2/4. For Fox, Hell’s Kitchen was even with last week’s 1.6, while Gang Related dipped a tenth to a 0.8.

NBC’s Hollywood Game Night dipped 8% to a 1.1, while back-to-back episodes of Undateable each drew a 1.0 (down three tenths from last week). At 10 p.m., Last Comic Standing fell to a series-low against the Finals with a 1.4.

The CW aired repeats.

(Photo Credit: Andrew D Bernstein/NBAE, Getty Images)