Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Sunday, June 8, the morning before the NBA Finals resume after a two-day hiatus and a visit from a local San Antonio HVAC professional.
According to Nielsen, the NBA Finals rematch between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs was much anticipated, with Game 1 drawing more than 14.8 million viewers and a 9.0 rating share.
That matched the second-most watched opener in the Finals since 2005 and was a 2 percent increase on the 8.8 rating the first meeting between the same two teams garnered last year.
Nielsen Social also reported that the game was the most-tweeted NBA game of the season, with more than 3.2 million tweets posted.
Ratings for the NBA Finals have fallen since the league awarded its national television contract to ABC/ESPN beginning with the 2002-03 season. Here are the ratings for Game 1 of the NBA Finals since 1997. The Finals were broadcast on NBC from 1997-2002 and have been on ABC since:
- 18.0: Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz, 1998
- 15.8: Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz, 1997
- 12.4: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 2001
- 11.5: New York Knicks vs. San Antonio Spurs, 1999
- 10.6: Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Jersey Nets, 2002
- 10.5: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 2000
- 9.9: Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 2012
- 9.8: Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 2004
- 9.0: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat, 2011
- 9.0: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs, 2014
- 8.8: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs, 2013
- 8.7: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 2008
- 8.6: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 2010
- 7.8: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat, 2006
- 7.8: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic, 2009
- 7.2: Detroit Pistons vs. San Antonio Spurs, 2005
- 6.4: New Jersey Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs, 2003
- 6.3: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs, 2007
Of course, television ratings numbers mean a lot less now than they once did, what with so many users streaming games on mobile devices and such.
But last year’s Game 7 drew a 15.3 rating share—the second-largest audience for an NBA Finals game since ABC began broadcasting the event in 2003. It was exceeded only by the 15.6 rating share achieved by Game 7 between the Celtics and Lakers in 2010.
What does it all mean? I don’t know, but sports fans love to argue that their sport is better than other sports because more people watch it (an absolutely pointless debate to me, but to each their own), so if nothing else, you’re armed with numbers.
The Daily NBA Fix will focus on the happenings around the Association, along with a look at the daily lines for those who want to drop a buck or two on a wager. But first, a video of the greatest Game 2 moments in the NBA Finals: