Most-Watched NBA Game in ABC History: Record 30.8 Million Viewers for NBA Finals Game 7


Most-Watched NBA Game in ABC History: Record 30.8 Million Viewers for NBA Finals Game 7

Most-Watched NBA Finals Since 1998

Game 7 Audience Peaked with 44.5 Million Viewers

Largest Audience for NBA Game Ever on WatchESPN

Last night’s NBA Finals Game 7 on ABC drew a massive average audience of 30,799,000 viewers (p2+), making it the most-watched NBA game since Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, according to Fast Nationals from Nielsen. In addition, it generated a 15.7 U.S. household rating, making it the highest-rated NBA game since Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. ABC’s Game 7 viewership peaked with 44,511,000 viewers and a 22.5 U.S. rating from 10:30-10:40 p.m. ET.

The 2016 NBA Finals on ABC, in which the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors 4-3 in a rematch from last year, was the most-watched NBA Finals since 1998. The series averaged 20,166,000 viewers and an 11.3 U.S. rating for its seven games. The back-to-back Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals in 2015 and 2016 are the two-most-watched and highest-rated NBA Finals ever on ABC.

The NBA Finals on ABC won the night across all of television for the 55th consecutive time.

WatchESPN NBA Audience Records

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.

Top local markets on ABC

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. The rest of the top 10 markets included Columbus (30.1), Miami (24.3), San Antonio (23.6), Sacramento (23.3), Memphis (21.7), Atlanta (21.3), Dayton (21.0) and Norfolk (20.7).

2016 NBA Draft on ESPN

ESPN’s NBA coverage continues this Thursday, June 23, with the exclusive telecast of 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, 860-766-3496 or [email protected], On Twitter: @Ben_ESPN, @ESPNPR


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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