NBA Finals: ABC Dunks 23.5 Million Viewers, Net's Most Ever With A Game 6


Dirk, "The Jet" and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks did it and more than 23 million watched.
ABC's coverage Sunday night of the Mavs' 105-95 defeat of the Miami Heat to win the 2011 NBA championship netted a 13.1 rating, 15.2 million households and 23.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen fast national data. The June 12 telecast -- during which ABC claimed a 25th consecutive victory over the years with its presentation of The Finals -- was the most-viewed Game 6 ever for the network and the best in 13 years for the league. Granted Mavs-Heat came up just a little short:  NBC notched 35.9 million in 1998 with the Chicago Bulls' three-peat over the Utah Jazz, the game made famous by Michael Jordan's push-off and clinching foul-line jumper over Bryon Russell.
MVP Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry led Dallas' dismantling of the Heat's Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, which wound up being the second-most-viewed Finals since the Detroit Pistons topped the Los Angeles Lakers in five games in 2004. ABC averaged a 10.1 rating, 11.7 million households and nearly 17.3 million viewers with the 2011 Finals, according to Nielsen, versus an 11.5, 12.45 million households and 17.9 million viewers seven years ago.
The series was down slightly versus last year's seven-game series during which the Lakers repeated over their nemesis the Boston Celtcis, which scored a 10.6 rating, 12.2 million households and 18.1 million viewers. However, the 2011 Finals was up 5% among viewers (16.4 million) and households (11.2 million) and 4% in rating (9.7) over the first six games of last year's Celtics/Lakers series.
Measured against the 2006 Finals in which Wade claimed MVP laurels in leading Miami over Dallas in six games, this year's series was up 33% among viewers (12.97 million), 27% in households (9.3 million) and 20% in rating (8.5).