Spurs' NBA Finals Clincher Delivers 11.7 Overnight Rating On ABC, Wins The Night
ABC earned a 11.7 overnight rating for the series-clinching NBA Finals Game 5 last night, which saw the Spurs beat the Heat in a rout for the third straight game. Despite the lopsided score, the broadcast delivered ABC a primetime win for the 42nd straight time that an NBA Finals game has aired on the net. The game had competition from HBO's "Game of Thrones" season finale, a show that has led all of cable TV this spring. Last year's Heat-Spurs Game 5 drew an 11.4 overnight, when the series was tied. The 11.7 overnight for last night’s game is down 7% from a 12.6 overnight for the series-clinching Heat-Thunder Game 5 in ’12, which aired on a Thursday night. Mavericks-Heat Game 5 in ’11, which aired on a Thursday night, also earned a 12.6 overnight rating. Last night’s Spurs-Heat matchup earned a 42.6 local rating in San Antonio. The Spurs’ last NBA Finals-clinching victory in Game 4 in ’07 over the Cavaliers drew a 48.1 rating in the market. The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market drew a 27.6 local rating last night. Spurs-Heat Game 5 peaked at a 15.1 rating from 10:30-10:45pm ET.
FOUR SCORE: ABC finished with a 9.3 rating and 14.96 million viewers for Spurs-Heat Game 4 last Thursday, down from a 10.0 rating and 16.23 million viewers for the comparable Heat-Spurs matchup in '13. Heading into last night's Game 5, the Spurs-Heat series was averaging a 9.1 final rating and 14.93 million viewers, up slightly from from a 9.0 rating and 14.80 million viewers through four games of the same matchup last year. Heading into Heat-Thunder Game 5 in '12, ABC was averaging a 9.9 rating and 16.45 million viewers (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
FINAL COUNTDOWN? In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote ESPN's "NBA Countdown" needs to "be torn down and reconstructed." With the exception of anchor Sage Steele, the rest of the cast -- Jalen Rose, Doug Collins and Bill Simmons -- "should be moved out and move on." Knowledge alone is "not enough to make this kind of show work." It "must have a unique personality," and "Countdown" currently "has the personality of a bread-and-butter sandwich." Raissman: "The current team should be replaced by Stephen A. Smith, Tim Legler and Jon Barry" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/15). Bulls radio announcer Chuck Swirsky wrote on his Twitter account, "Bill Simmons is a gifted writer. The best of the current generation but I simply don't get his appeal on Countdown" (TWITTER.com, 6/15).
JET FUELED: SI.com's Richard Deitsch praised Fox Sports Exec Producer Michael Hughes for hiring Nets G Jason Terry "to work as an NBA Finals studio analyst" for "Fox Sports Live." Terry was "smart and poised" and "has a sports TV future if he wants it" (SI.com, 6/15).