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Thursday Final Nationals: Cavaliers-Warriors Game 1 on ABC Draws Most-Viewed NBA Finals Start in 18 Years

For the 49th consecutive time, “The NBA Finals” propelled ABC to win the night across all of television (broadcast and cable) and across all key demos.

An average of 19.197 million viewers watched the Golden State Warriors’ 104-89 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the largest Game 1 audience ever on ABC for the NBA Finals, according to Nielsen. This eclipsed the previous ABC high of 17.768 million by eight percent, a mark set last year between these same two teams. Additionally, the viewership number was the biggest audience for an NBA Game 1 on any network since 1998 (26.7 million for Chicago Bulls-Utah Jazz on NBC) and the top championship series Game 1 of any sport since October 2009 (19.5 million viewers/11.9 household rating for Philadelphia Phillies-New York Yankees in the 2009 World Series on Fox). The game peaked from 10:45-11 p.m. ET with 22.61 million viewers and a 12.9 rating.

The corresponding 11.1 U.S. household rating also set an ABC Game 1 record, surpassing last year’s previous high of 10.6. Furthermore, the 19.197 million viewers and 11.1 rating marked a 31 and 25 percent increase, respectively compared to the 2014 Game 1 numbers of 14.697 million and 8.9 (Miami-San Antonio).

Most-Watched NBA Game Ever on WatchESPN
In addition to the television audience on ABC, Thursday night’s Game 1 was the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN. It delivered an average minute audience of 347,000, more than double (up 111 percent) from last year’s Game 1. Additionally, WatchESPN had one million unique viewers (up 48 percent) and 55.9 million minutes streamed (up 92 percent). The previous record for most-watched NBA game was Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals.

NBA Finals Game 1 Record on ESPN Deportes
Game 1 of the NBA Finals on ESPN Deportes averaged a 0.6 Hispanic Household Rating with 124,000 total Hispanic viewers, making it the most-watched and highest-rated Game 1 ever on the network.

(Sources: ESPN, Sports Media Watch)

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Programming Insider Thursday, June 2, 2016
ABC PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 8.3/15 15417 5.1/23 5.2/19 5.5/17
8:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night (s) 2.9/5 4465 1.2/6 1.2/5 1.4/5
8:31 NBA Countdown (s) 4.0/8 6272 2.0/10 2.1/9 2.3/8
9:00 2016 NBA Finals Game 1 Cleveland @ Golden State (s) (thru 11:40) 11.1/20 19197 7.1/30 7.3/26 7.6/23
CBS PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 3.4/6 5068 0.5/2 1.0/3 1.5/5
8:00 Big Bang Theory (r) 5.1/10 7785 0.9/5 1.6/6 2.3/8
8:31 Life in Pieces (r) 3.6/7 5523 0.6/3 1.2/4 1.7/6
9:01 Mom (r) 3.5/6 5187 0.5/2 1.0/4 1.6/5
9:30 The Odd Couple (r) 2.9/5 4279 0.4/2 0.8/3 1.3/4
10:00 Code Black (r) 2.6/5 3773 0.4/2 0.6/2 1.0/3
NBC PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 1.6/3 2395 0.3/1 0.5/2 0.7/2
8:00 Strong 1.8/3 2656 0.4/2 067/3 0.9/3
9:00 Game of Silence (thru 11:00) 1.6/3 2264 0.3/1 0.5/2 0.6/2
FOX PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 2.1/4 3285 0.5/2 0.8/3 1.0/3
8:00 Bones 3.0/6 4607 0.6/3 0.9/4 1.2/4
9:00 American Grit 1.2/2 1963 0.4/2 0.6/2 0.8/2
CW PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-10 Network Average 0.5/1 791 0.2/1 0.2/1 0.3/1
8:00 DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (r) 0.5/1 750 0.2/1 0.2/1 0.3/1
9:00 Beauty and the Beast (p) 0.6/1 833 0.2/1 0.2/1 0.3/1
UNI PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 0.9/2 1700 0.6/2
7:00 Sueño de Amor 0.7/1 1280 0.4/2
8:00 Un Camino Hacia El Destino 1.0/2 1785 0.6/2
9:02 Tres Veces Ana 1.0/2 1945 0.7/2
10:05 Yago 0.7/1 1322 0.5/2
PROGRAM HH/Share Viewers
(000)
Adults
18-34
Adults
18-49
Adults
25-54
8-11 Network Average 0.2/0 350 0.1/0
7:00 Sal y Pimienta 0.1/0 230 0.1/0
8:00 La Rosa de Guadalupe 0.3/0 500 0.2/1
9:00 Cine: Fuerza de ataque (2006) (thru 11:00) 0.2/0 275 0.1/0

Sub-Demo Breakdowns – Thursday 6/02/16

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 1.0/4
Men 18-34: 1.4/8
Women 18-49: 1.1/4
Men 18-49: 1.4/6

NBA Countdown” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 1.5/7
Men 18-34: 2.5/14
Women 18-49: 1.6/6
Men 18-49: 2.7/12

2016 NBA Finals Game 1: Cleveland @ Golden State” (ABC)
Women 18-34: 5.4/23
Men 18-34: 8.8/39
Women 18-49: 5.5/19
Men 18-49: 9.1/33

Strong” (NBC)
Women 18-34: 0.5/2
Men 18-34: 0.3/1
Women 18-49: 0.8/3
Men 18-49: 0.5/2

Game of Silence” (NBC)
Women 18-34: 0.3/1
Men 18-34: 0.2/1
Women 18-49: 0.6/2
Men 18-49: 0.3/1

Bones” (Fox)
Women 18-34: 0.7/3
Men 18-34: 0.5/3
Women 18-49: 1.1/4
Men 18-49: 0.7/3

American Grit” (Fox)
Women 18-34: 0.4/2
Men 18-34: 0.3/1
Women 18-49: 0.7/2
Men 18-49: 0.6/2

Beauty and the Beast” (CW)
Women 18-34: 0.3/1
Men 18-34: 0.2/1
Women 18-49: 0.3/1
Men 18-49: 0.2/1

Cable Rankings – Thursday 6/02/16

What follows are the top 100 most-watched shows in prime time on cable (by order of network) for Thursday, June 2:

* Viewers in thousands
Rank Program Net Start Dur Vwrs* A1849
35 ROOTS PART 4 A&E 9:00 PM 129 1024 0.3
49 KING OF THE HILL ADSM 8:00 PM 30 812 0.3
36 BOB’S BURGERS ADSM 8:30 PM 30 1015 0.4
20 BOB’S BURGERS ADSM 9:00 PM 30 1216 0.6
27 CLEVELAND SHOW ADSM 9:30 PM 30 1158 0.6
12 AMERICAN DAD ADSM 10:00 PM 30 1522 0.7
7 AMERICAN DAD ADSM 10:30 PM 30 1719 0.9
76 RIVER MONSTERS: SECRETS APL 8:00 PM 61 645 0.2
66 NORTH WOODS LAW APL 9:01 PM 62 704 0.2
50 LONE STAR LAW APL 10:03 PM 64 801 0.2
92 MILLION DOLLAR LISTING NY BRAVO 8:00 PM 60 550 0.2
24 MILLION DOLLAR LISTING NY BRAVO 9:00 PM 60 1194 0.4
70 INSIDE AMY SCHUMER CMDY 10:00 PM 30 696 0.4
42 ANDERSON COOPER 360 CNN 8:00 PM 60 877 0.2
47 ANDERSON COOPER 360 CNN 9:00 PM 60 813 0.2
61 CNN TONIGHT CNN 10:00 PM 60 722 0.1
53 NAKED AND AFRAID DISC 8:00 PM 60 790 0.3
63 NAKED AND AFRAID DISC 9:00 PM 60 711 0.3
64 LIFE AFTER: CHERNOBYL DISC 10:00 PM 60 708 0.3
52 PJ MASKS DISJR 8:00 PM 25 797 0.2
67 MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND DISJR 8:30 PM 25 702 0.2
81 MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE DISJR 9:00 PM 25 622 0.2
99 GOLDIE & BEAR DISJR 9:30 PM 25 520 0.1
103 SHERIFF CALLIES WILD WEST DISJR 10:00 PM 25 493 0.1
13 SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN DSNY 8:00 PM 95 1497 0.3
25 GIRL MEETS WORLD DSNY 9:35 PM 25 1180 0.2
29 STUCK IN THE MIDDLE DSNY 10:00 PM 30 1089 0.2
34 BEST FRIENDS WHENEVER DSNY 10:30 PM 30 1042 0.2
102 KEEPING UP KARDASHIANS E! 10:01 PM 61 504 0.2
55 SPORTSCENTER EARLY ESPN 6:00 PM 150 767 0.3
30 CHOPPED FOOD 8:00 PM 60 1084 0.4
32 CHOPPED FOOD 9:00 PM 60 1054 0.3
23 BEAT BOBBY FLAY FOOD 10:00 PM 30 1206 0.4
28 BEAT BOBBY FLAY FOOD 10:30 PM 30 1117 0.3
1 THE O’REILLY FACTOR FOXNC 8:00 PM 60 2963 0.2
2 THE KELLY FILE FOXNC 9:00 PM 60 2192 0.2
6 HANNITY FOXNC 10:00 PM 60 1786 0.2
45 FX MOVIE PRIME: RIDE ALONG FX 7:59 PM 121 861 0.3
64 ARCHER FX 10:00 PM 34 708 0.4
74 FAMILY FEUD (HARVEY) GSN 8:00 PM 30 664 0.2
60 FAMILY FEUD (HARVEY) GSN 8:30 PM 30 734 0.2
73 FAMILY FEUD (HARVEY) GSN 9:00 PM 30 667 0.1
56 FAMILY FEUD (HARVEY) GSN 9:30 PM 30 764 0.2
79 FAMILY FEUD (HARVEY) GSN 10:00 PM 30 636 0.1
80 FAMILY FEUD (HARVEY) GSN 10:30 PM 30 625 0.1
106 LAST MAN STANDING HALL 8:30 PM 30 474 0.1
97 THE MIDDLE HALL 10:00 PM 30 528 0.2
96 THE MIDDLE HALL 10:30 PM 30 535 0.1
22 FLIPPING THE SOUTH HGTV 8:00 PM 30 1208 0.3
16 FLIP OR FLOP HGTV 8:30 PM 30 1394 0.3
16 FLIP OR FLOP HGTV 9:00 PM 30 1394 0.4
15 FLIP OR FLOP HGTV 9:30 PM 30 1411 0.4
9 HOUSE HUNTERS HGTV 10:00 PM 30 1615 0.4
8 HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL HGTV 10:30 PM 30 1640 0.4
54 ROOTS PART 3B HIST 8:00 PM 60 776 0.2
5 ROOTS PART 4 HIST 9:00 PM 129 1883 0.4
93 HMM MOVIE: HOPE FLOATS HMM 9:00 PM 120 545 0.1
69 48 HOURS ON ID ID 8:00 PM 60 701 0.2
33 48 HOURS ON ID ID 9:00 PM 60 1047 0.2
41 LAS VEGAS LAW ID 10:00 PM 60 878 0.2
101 WALKER,TEXAS RANGER INSP 10:00 PM 60 517 0.1
82 ROOTS PART 3B LIF 8:00 PM 60 615 0.1
18 ROOTS PART 4 LIF 9:00 PM 129 1281 0.3
89 ROOTS PART 4 LMN 9:00 PM 129 560 0.1
47 ALL IN W/ CHRIS HAYES MSNBC 8:00 PM 60 813 0.1
21 RACHEL MADDOW SHOW MSNBC 9:00 PM 60 1210 0.2
37 LAST WORD W/ L. ODONNELL MSNBC 10:00 PM 60 984 0.1
95 RIDICULOUSNESS SSN5 MTV 8:00 PM 30 539 0.3
84 RIDICULOUSNESS SSN6 MTV 8:30 PM 30 593 0.3
90 RIDICULOUSNESS SSN3B MTV 9:00 PM 30 554 0.3
94 RIDICULOUSNESS SSN7 MTV 9:30 PM 30 543 0.2
62 RIDICULOUSNESS SSN7B MTV 10:00 PM 31 719 0.3
58 RIDICULOUSNESS SSN7B MTV 10:31 PM 31 751 0.4
11 NICK AT NITE MOVIE: THE PARENT TRAP NAN 8:00 PM 180 1551 0.4
57 LIFE BELOW ZERO NGC 8:00 PM 60 755 0.2
14 LIFE BELOW ZERO NGC 9:00 PM 60 1463 0.3
38 PORT PROTECTION COMP NGC 10:00 PM 60 980 0.2
77 SHIMMER AND SHINE NKJR 8:00 PM 30 644 0.1
72 WALLYKAZAM! NKJR 8:30 PM 30 668 0.2
71 PEPPA PIG NKJR 9:00 PM 30 693 0.2
85 PEPPA PIG NKJR 9:30 PM 30 587 0.1
104 20/20 ON OWN OWN 10:00 PM 60 487 0.1
39 LIP SYNC BATTLE SPIKE 10:00 PM 32 940 0.4
91 LIP SYNC BATTLE SPIKE 10:32 PM 30 553 0.2
83 SYFY MOVIE: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES SYFY 8:00 PM 120 602 0.2
77 SYFY MOVIE: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2 SYFY 10:00 PM 120 644 0.2
88 2 BROKE GIRLS TBS 8:00 PM 30 562 0.2
44 2 BROKE GIRLS TBS 8:30 PM 30 869 0.4
10 BIG BANG THEORY TBS 9:00 PM 30 1586 0.6
4 BIG BANG THEORY TBS 9:30 PM 30 2020 0.7
19 2 BROKE GIRLS TBS 10:00 PM 30 1263 0.5
31 2 BROKE GIRLS TBS 10:30 PM 30 1079 0.4
86 MY 600 LB. LIFE TLC 8:00 PM 60 578 0.2
107 EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS TLC 9:00 PM 60 471 0.2
26 JACK THE GIANT SLAYER TNT 8:00 PM 150 1171 0.4
75 TNT BIG PICTURE MOVIES: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010) TNT 10:30 PM 150 654 0.2
98 MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM TRAV 9:00 PM 60 525 0.1
87 MYSTERIES AT THE MUSEUM TRAV 10:00 PM 60 563 0.1
105 IMPRACTICAL JOKERS TRU 10:00 PM 30 485 0.2
67 ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW TVL 7:36 PM 36 702 0.1
99 EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND TVL 9:24 PM 36 520 0.1
59 EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND TVL 10:00 PM 30 738 0.2
46 EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND TVL 10:30 PM 30 846 0.2
3 WWE SMACKDOWN USA 8:00 PM 120 2169 0.7
43 MODERN FAMILY USA 10:00 PM 30 873 0.3
51 MODERN FAMILY USA 10:30 PM 30 798 0.3
40 BRAXTON FAMILY VALUES WETV 9:00 PM 60 930 0.4

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

Written by Douglas Pucci

Douglas Pucci (a.k.a. “Son of the Bronx”) has worked with Mr. Berman for more than a decade. A Bronx native, NYU graduate and once-intern for VH1's "Pop Up Video," Pucci went on to design, build and maintain websites for various non-profit organizations in his hometown of New York City. He also contributes to the sports website Awful Announcing.

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    • Sure do…

      2016 NBA Finals Game 1 (ABC, 6/02)

      9:00-9:30 ‬
      Household rating/Share: 9.0/16
      Viewers: 14.863 million
      adults 18-34: 5.1 rating/24 share
      adults 18-49: 5.3 rating/20 share
      adults 25-54: 5.6 rating/18 share

      ‪9:30-10:00 ‬
      Household rating/Share: 11.0/19
      Viewers: 18.810 million
      adults 18-34: 6.8 rating/29 share
      adults 18-49: 7.0 rating/24 share
      adults 25-54: 7.3 rating/22 share

      ‪10:00-10:30 ‬
      Household rating/Share: 10.9/19
      Viewers: 19.072 million
      adults 18-34: 7.2 rating/30 share
      adults 18-49: 7.3 rating/25 share
      adults 25-54: 7.6 rating/22 share

      ‪10:30-11:00
      Household rating/Share: 12.3/22
      Viewers: 21.488 million
      adults 18-34: 8.1 rating/33 share
      adults 18-49: 8.3 rating/28 share
      adults 25-54: 8.6 rating/25 share

  1. Hi!
    If possible, half-hours for NBC’s ”Game of Silence,” please.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Here ya go…

      Game of Silence (NBC, 6/02)

      9:00-9:30 ‬
      Household rating/Share: 1.5/3
      Viewers: 2.259 million
      adults 18-34: 0.2 rating/ 1 share
      adults 18-49: 0.4 rating/ 2 share
      adults 25-54: 0.6 rating/ 2 share

      ‪9:30-10:00 ‬
      Household rating/Share: 1.6/3
      Viewers: 2.300 million
      adults 18-34: 0.2 rating/ 1 share
      adults 18-49: 0.5 rating/ 2 share
      adults 25-54: 0.6 rating/ 2 share

      ‪10:00-10:30 ‬
      Household rating/Share: 1.6/3
      Viewers: 2.279 million
      adults 18-34: 0.3 rating/ 1 share
      adults 18-49: 0.5 rating/ 2 share
      adults 25-54: 0.6 rating/ 2 share

      ‪10:30-11:00
      Household rating/Share: 1.6/3
      Viewers: 2.219 million
      adults 18-34: 0.3 rating/ 1 share
      adults 18-49: 0.4 rating/ 2 share
      adults 25-54: 0.6 rating/ 2 share

  2. For a sub-20 million telecast, 30 share for 18-34 is amazing, only World Cup could beat it.

  3. @SonOfTheBronx:disqus
    Hey, do you happen to have Bones’ Live+3 demo and viewer numbers for Thursday? Thanks!