A tight contest led ABC to register the fourth-largest audience for Game 1 of the NBA Finals over the past decade.
ABC’s June 6 telecast of the San Antonio Spurs’ 92-88 win over the Miami Heat – sealed by a Tony Parker banker that barely beat the shot clock off a broken play with just over five seconds remaining -- averaged an 8.8 rating and 14.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen live+ same-day data. That was off 11% in ratings and 12% from the 2012 Finals opener that featured the Heat-Oklahoma City Thunder and produced a 9.9 rating and 16.2 million viewers.
Nevertheless, Game 1 of Spurs-Heat stands as the fourth-largest Finals opener since ABC began televising the NBA again in 2002-03, behind last-year’s contest, the 15.4 million for the Detroit Pistons-Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 and the 15.2 million for Heat-Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals delivered a 34.0 household rating in Miami (highest-ever Game 1 rating in that market) and a 35.3 rating in San Antonio. Miami and San Antonio rank as the nation’s No. 16 and 36 DMAs, respectively.