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Dominant Night for ABC as NBA Finals Open TVbytheNumbers

ABC scored a slam dunk in the broadcast ratings Thursday night even as the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs opened with viewership numbers well below last year’s game one, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the game, won by the Spurs, delivered a preliminary 4.9 average rating in viewers 18-49, along with 12.29 million total viewers. That compares with a 6.9 for last year’s opener, when the Heat faced the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The report notes that the preliminary numbers are approximate and are subject to more than the usual adjustments due to the nature of live sports programming.

On a night of all-NBA-oriented programming, ABC also had a 2.1 average in 18-49 for “Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night” and a 2.5 for “NBA Countdown,” as the Alphabet Network coasted to an easy win for the night.

ABC averaged a 4.0 rating in adults 18-49 for prime time overall, well ahead of Fox (1.6 average), CBS (1.3), Univision (1.3) and NBC (0.7). ABC outpaced the pack in total viewers as well, averaging 10.4 million to lead CBS (6.6 million), Fox (4.0 million), Univision (3.3 million) and NBC (2.3 million).

Fox got a 2.1 average out of “Hell’s Kitchen” (equal to last week) and a 1.2 for “Does Someone Have to Go?” (up two-tenths) in the 18-49 demo. CBS aired all repeats.

NBC put up back-to-back episodes of “Save Me,” with both installments averaging 0.7 ratings in adults 18-49, up from 0.6 averages last week. “Hannibal” settled for a 0.9, slipping one-tenth.