Despite a slight audience dip from Game 2 last year, ABC's coverage of the 2011 NBA Finals was up 3% when measured against the first two contests of the 2010 championship series.
ABC ‘s June 2 telecast of the Mavericks' improbable 95-93 come-from-behind victory that knotted the series with the Heat -- Mark Cuban's team overcame a 15-point deficit in the final six minutes -- averaged a 9.3 rating and 15.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. That marked a 1% increase from the 9.2 rating for the second game of the 2010 Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics and a 1.3% decline from the 15.7 million who watched that contest.
Averaging 15.3 million viewers for the first two games of Mavs-Heat, ABC is up 3% from the 14.9 million for Celts-Lakers and 28% from the 11.9 million for the initial two meetings between Dallas and Miami in the 2006 Finals.
Game 2 was the highest-rated program of the night on all television on June 2, marking the 21st consecutive time an NBA Finals affair was the top program on its respective night. The contest also helped lead ABC to win the night for all of television.
ABC opened the 2011 Finals by scoring a 9.0 rating and nearly 15.2 million viewers on May 31, which made Miami-Dallas the top first game of The Finals since the Lakers and Detroit Pistons squared off in 2004, which posted a 9.8 and 15.4 million viewers.
ABC resumes its Finals coverage with Game 3 on Sunday, June 5, at 8 p.m. ET