NBA Finals Viewership On ABC Lowest Since ’09
The Raptors’ win over the Warriors in six games averaged a total audience delivery (TV+streaming) of 15.1 million viewers this year on ABC, marking the lowest NBA Finals viewership since ’09, when the Lakers beat the Magic in five games (14.3 million TV-only viewers). Viewership figures do not include any Canadian audience numbers. Raptors-Warriors is down 14% from the Warriors’ sweep of the Cavaliers last year, and also down 3% from the last non-Warriors Finals (15.5 million for Spurs-Heat in five games in ’14). This was also the first year since ’10 that LeBron James was not in the Finals. The Raptors-Warriors clincher last Thursday averaged 18.4 million viewers, which is the lowest audience for an NBA Finals Game 6 since ’10, when Lakers-Celtics averaged just under 18 million viewers on a Tuesday night. For the complete playoffs (82 games), ABC/ESPN/TNT/NBA TV averaged 4.9 million viewers, down 9% from last year (81 games), but down only 3% from ’17 for 78 games (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
A HIT UP NORTH: The NBA said that 56% of the Canadian population "watched at least some part of the NBA Finals," with an average viewership of about 8 million for Game 6. The league also said the "total combined U.S. and Canadian audience for the finals" was up 11% over the combined viewership of Warriors-Cavaliers in '18. Game 6 was the "most-watched NBA game in Canadian television history, a record that was toppled several times during this postseason because of the Raptors’ popularity." Viewership for each of the six Finals games "rank among the 10 most-watched television programs in Canada so far this year" (AP, 6/14).
ANOTHER TECHNICAL ISSUE: Bell Media is "apologizing for another technical problem that cut service to several thousand of its Fibe TV customers in crucial moments" of Game 6. Bell said that service was "affected for those using the Fibe app for several minutes in the fourth quarter but resumed about two minutes before the final buzzer." The company said that the glitch was similar to one last Monday night when "several thousand Fibe customers using the app lost service for the final 30 seconds of Game 5" (CP, 6/14).