Record Ratings, Viewership for Conference Finals on ESPN; Growth Across ESPN Digital Platforms
The 2012 NBA Playoffs generated record ratings and viewership on ESPN, led by the Eastern Conference Finals, which delivered the network’s highest-rated, most-viewed NBA series ever, according to Nielsen. It averaged a 6.2 US household rating, matching the highest-rated Conference Finals ever on cable, and was up 44 percent compared to ESPN’s coverage of the 2011 Western Conference Finals (4.3). The series averaged 10,144,000 viewers (P2+), up 46 percent from 2011 (6,939,000) and up 43 percent in household impressions from 2011 (4,987,000).
Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 generated an 8.9 coverage rating, translating to a 7.7 US rating, ranking as the highest for an NBA game ever on cable. Game 7 also delivered the largest audience for an NBA game in cable history in both viewership (13,346,000) and households (8,794,000). Additionally, the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals generated the three-highest rated NBA games on cable: Game 7, Game 4 and Game 6.
The Eastern Conference Finals helped propel ESPN to its highest-rated, most-viewed NBA Playoffs ever. In 21 games, ESPN averaged a 4.5 household coverage rating, up 25 percent compared to last year’s 3.6. In addition, ESPN also was up 25 percent in viewership (6,228,000 vs. 4,975,000) and up 25 percent in household impressions (4,503,000 vs. 3,610,000).
The NBA Playoffs on ESPN delivered double-digit increases in all key demos, including 35 percent in M18-34 (5.0 vs. 3.7); 31 percent in M18-49 (4.6 vs. 3.5); 29 percent in M25-54 (4.5 vs. 3.5); 35 percent in P18-34 (3.5 vs. 2.6); 28 percent in P18-49 (3.2 vs. 2.5); 24 percent in P25-54 (3.1 vs. 2.5).
ESPN Digital Platforms
Throughout the 2012 NBA Playoffs, NBA content on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile properties logged an average minute audience of 71,000, up 22 percent compared to the previous year (source: Adobe/Omniture). Specifically, the NBA section on ESPN.com averaged 1.9 million daily unique visitors, with 16 million total minutes per day up 9 percent. Additionally, the NBA section on the ESPN mobile Web averaged 1.7 million daily unique visitors, with 17 million total minutes per day up 45 percent.
The 2012 NBA Playoffs on ESPN3 and WatchESPN averaged 10.6 million minutes per game across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox, more than double (up 102 percent) compared to last year. Additionally, the Eastern Conference Finals logged its largest growth on computers, with unique viewers per game up 72 percent and total minutes per game up 82 percent, recording an average minute audience per game of 118,000. ESPN3 and WatchESPN also logged its largest NBA audience this season with Game 7 of the Heat vs. Celtics, generating an average minute audience of 176,000, 534,000 unique viewers and 28.8 million minutes.
The 2012 NBA Finals – Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – begin Tuesday, June 12, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN Radio and ESPN3. Here is the complete schedule with details: The Finals on ABC.