Highest-Rated NBA Game Ever on ABC: 18.9 Overnight Rating for NBA Finals Game 7


Highest-Rated NBA Game Ever on ABC: 18.9 Overnight Rating for NBA Finals Game 7

  • Ranks as Highest-Rated Sports Telecast on ABC or ESPN in a Decade (Since 2006)
  • Telecast Peaked with 25.5 Overnight Rating
  • Most-Watched NBA Game Ever on WatchESPN: More than 96 Million Total Minutes Streamed

Last night’s NBA Finals Game 7 is the highest-rated NBA game ever on ABC, drawing an 18.9 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. The telecast, in which the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in an all-time classic – peaked with a 25.5 overnight rating from 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET.

The 18.9 overnight rating for Game 7 is the highest-rated sports telecast on ABC or ESPN in a decade (since 2006).  Additionally, last night’s Game 7 was up seven percent from the most recent NBA Finals Game 7 – Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs in 2013 – which drew a 17.7 overnight rating.

The second-highest rated NBA game ever on ABC was Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics in 2010, which drew an 18.2 overnight rating.

The NBA Finals on ABC is expected to win the night across all of television for the 55th consecutive time.

Last night’s Game 7 became the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN across all metrics. It generated 96,276,000 total minutes streamed, 1,760,000 unique viewers and an average minute audience of 598,000 viewers, which is the most for a non-World Cup event ever on WatchESPN.

NBA Finals Game 7 on ABC delivered a 46.3 in the Cleveland market, making it the second-highest rated NBA game ever in the market. In San Francisco, the game generated a 39.4 rating, which also ranks second all-time for an NBA Game.

ESPN’s NBA coverage continues this Thursday, June 23 with the 2016 NBA Draft presented by State Farm. It airs at 7 p.m. ET and will also be available on ESPN Radio and WatchESPN.


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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