Highest-Rated NBA Finals Game 1 Ever on ABC: 12.9 Overnight Rating


Highest-Rated NBA Finals Game 1 Ever on ABC: 12.9 Overnight Rating

  • Up 24 Percent From Last Year; Broadcast Peaked with 15.6 Rating
  • NBA Finals Expected to Win the Night for 43rd Consecutive Time

Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals, in which the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in an overtime thriller, delivered a 12.9 overnight rating, making it the highest-rated NBA Finals Game 1 ever on ABC, according to Nielsen. The broadcast peaked with a 15.6 from 11:30 p.m.-11:45 p.m. ET.

NBA Finals Game 1 was also up 24 percent from a 10.4 for last year’s Game 1 (Miami Heat-San Antonio Spurs).

It is expected that the NBA Finals will win the night across television for the 43rd consecutive time.

Record local numbers

Game 1 on ABC delivered a 41.4 rating in the Cleveland market and a 28.9 in the San Francisco market. Both are the highest-rated NBA games on ABC ever in the respective markets. Top 10 local markets:

Market Rating
Cleveland 41.4
San Francisco 28.9
Columbus 21.1
Memphis 19.9
Norfolk 16.5
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 16.2
Sacramento 15.7
Atlanta 15.6
Richmond-Petersburg 15.2
Raleigh-Durham 15.0

Additionally, NBA Countdown – ABC’s NBA Finals pre-game show – generated a 4.6 overnight rating, which is up 18 percent from 3.9 for the corresponding show leading into Game 1 in 2014.

The NBA Finals will continue with Game Two on ABC this Sunday, June 7, at 8 p.m. ET. NBA Countdown will precede the broadcast at 7:30 p.m. For more details on ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA Finals coverage, visit ESPN Media Zone.


Media contact: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or [email protected] (@Ben_ESPN).

Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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