Highest-Rated Quarter Hour for NBA Game on ESPN: 12.0 Peak Rating
ESPN matched its highest-rated NBA game ever with a 9.1 metered market rating for the Cleveland Cavaliers victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, according to Nielsen. It matched Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals: the Miami Heat and LeBron James vs. the Boston Celtics. Last night’s telecast peaked with a 12.0 rating from 10:45-11 p.m. ET. It is the highest-rated quarter hour of an NBA game on ESPN as far as records go back.
Based on metered market ratings, Game 7 on ESPN was the highest-rated telecast across all of television for Sunday, May 27. The top five highest-rated local markets were Cleveland (27.6), Boston (21.9), Columbus (15.1), Providence (14.4) and New Orleans (12.9). The 21.9 rating in Boston is the highest-rated NBA Playoffs game ever on ESPN in the market.
Sunday’s telecast is now the highest-rated game of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. ESPN’s Conference Finals coverage averaged a 6.3 metered market rating, up 37 percent from the same matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals last year and up 34 percent from its Western Conference Finals coverage in 2017. Overall, the 2018 NBA Playoffs on ESPN – 19 games – averaged a 3.8 metered market rating, up 31 percent from last year.
The 2018 NBA Finals on ABC will tip off Thursday, May 31, at 9 p.m. ET. The Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James will visit either the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets in Game 1.
Note: NBA Finals analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson will be available on a media conference call tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the event. Media members can call 866-548-4713 with the passcode 7186383.