SBD/June 14, 2011/Media

Mavs-Heat Marks Second Most-Viewed NBA Finals Since '04, But Down From Lakers-Celtics In '10

ABC averaged a 10.2 rating and 17.3 million viewers for the six-game Mavericks-Heat NBA Finals, marking the second most-viewed NBA Finals since Pistons-Lakers in '04 (17.9 million viewers). This year's figures are down 3.8% and 4.4%, respectively, from a 10.6 rating and 18.1 million viewers for last year's seven-game Lakers-Celtics series. Compared to the '06 Heat-Mavericks matchup, this year's Finals were up 20.0% and 33.7%, respectively. Sunday night's Game Six earned a 13.3 rating and 23.8 million viewers, marking the most-viewed Game Six ever on ABC and the most-viewed Game Six in 13 years. The Game Six figures were up 27.9% and 33.0%, respectively, from Lakers-Celtics Game Six last year. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale topped all U.S. markets for the six games of the NBA Finals this year, averaging a 33.7 local rating. Dallas-Ft. Worth finished second with a 30.7 rating, followed by West Palm Beach (17.7), San Antonio (15.5) and Cleveland-Akron (15.8) (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In Ft. Lauderdale, Tom Jicha noted it was ABC's "biggest non-Oscar Sunday since 2006." The game was a "demo smash as well, outperforming the 'American Idol' finale in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 category" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 6/13). DAILY VARIETY's Rick Kissell wrote under the header, "NBA Closer Huge For ABC" (VARIETY.com, 6/13).

NBA FINAL RATINGS TREND ON ABC
YEAR
GAMES
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
MATCHUP
'11
6
10.2
17,339
Mavericks-Heat
'10
7
10.6
18,144
Lakers-Celtics
'09
5
8.4
14,347
Lakers-Magic
'08
6
9.3
14,941
Celtics-Lakers
'07
4
6.2
9,289
Spurs-Cavaliers
'06
6
8.5
12,972
Heat-Mavericks
'05
7
8.2
12,544
Spurs-Pistons
'04
5
11.5
17,942
Pistons-Lakers
'03
6
6.5
9,864
Spurs-Nets
         
TOP 10 MOST-VIEWED NBA FINALS TELECASTS SINCE '04
YEAR
GAME
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'10
Lakers-Celtics: Game Seven
15.6
28,203
'11
Mavericks-Heat: Game Six
13.1
23,880
'04
Pistons-Lakers: Game Five
13.8
21,843
'04
Pistons-Lakers: Game Four
12.7
20,285
'05
Spurs-Pistons: Game Seven
11.9
18,997
'10
Lakers-Celtics: Game Five
10.8
18,654
'11
Heat-Mavericks: Game Five
10.8
18,318
'10
Lakers-Celtics: Game Six
10.4
17,960
'10
Lakers-Celtics: Game Four
9.9
16,371
'04
Pistons-Lakers: Game Three
10.5
16,213

SIMPLY MAV-ULOUS: In Dallas, Barry Horn noted WFAA-ABC averaged a 39.8 local rating and 1.03 million HHs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market for Game Six, marking the "largest local television rating in team history." Game Six also marked the "first time in the series that D-FW out-rated Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, which clocked in at 36.2." Horn noted Cleveland-Akron was the No. 3 market for Game Six, with WEWS-ABC averaging a 22.6 local rating for the game (DALLASNEWS.com, 6/13).

VOID TO FILL: On Long Island, Neil Best writes it was "no surprise the NBA Finals performed well, helped not only by Heat hatred but also a series of close, entertaining games." However, ESPN/ABC NBA analyst Mark Jackson leaving to coach the Warriors is a "loss for viewers." Jackson's chemistry with announcer Mike Breen and analyst Jeff Van Gundy, "each of whom he has known for years, will be difficult to replicate" (NEWSDAY, 6/14).

NEW YEAR, NEW RECORDS
: NBA.com delivered 141 million video streams and 401 million page views during The Finals, up 89% and 11%, respectively, from last year's record numbers. Downloads of the NBA GameTime app also were up 37% over last year (Turner).

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