Warriors-Cavaliers showdown powers ABC to ratings victory
LOS ANGELES (AP) — There was a hint of viewer fatigue for the latest chapter of the NBA's Cleveland-Golden State rivalry.
Viewership was down from the comparable 2017 matchups but not by much, according to Nielsen figures released Tuesday.
The two teams, competing in basketball's finals for the fourth consecutive year, saw the first two Finals games on ABC score as last week's most-watched programs.
Last Thursday's game one was watched by 17.4 million versus 18.7 million in 2017, while Sunday's game two drew 18.5 million viewers compared to last year's 19.7 million.
That's a 7 percent decline for the first game and 6 percent for the second.
The teams meet again Wednesday, with Golden State up two games over the Cleveland Cavaliers as the Warriors defend the title.
Hoops powered ABC to a prime-time victory with an average of 6.2 million viewers. NBC had 4.9 million, CBS had 4.6 million, Fox had 2 million, Univision had 1.45 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 970,000 and CW had 730,000.
ABC enjoyed its most-watched week since the Academy Awards aired in March.
TNT was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.3 million viewers. Fox News Channel had 2.2 million, HGTV had 1.5 million, MSNBC had 1.4 million and USA had 1.3 million.
ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" was second with 7.6 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.7 million viewers.
For the week of May 28 to June 3, the top 10 shows, networks and viewerships: NBA Finals: Cleveland at Golden State, Game 2, ABC, 18.5 million; NBA Finals: Cleveland at Golden State, Game 1, ABC, 17.4 million; NBA Conference Finals: Golden State at Houston, TNT, 14.9 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 12.2 million; NBA Finals: Game 2 Post-game, ABC, 11.4 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 7.6 million; "World of Dance," NBC, 7 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 6.7 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 6.6 million; "Code Black," CBS, 6.4 million; "Instinct," CBS, 6.37 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.