ABC Owns Sunday Prime With NBA Finals

June 9, 2014  •  Post A Comment

ABC's programming dominated broadcast prime time Sunday night, as Game 2 of the NBA Finals grew its audience from last year, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that Game 2, in which the Miami Heat evened the series with the San Antonio Spurs, was up 9% from the preliminary number for the year-ago game with a 5.0 average Sunday night in the 18-49 demo. That was down 2% from Thursday's Game 1.

ABC's NBA-related lead-in programming was mixed. "Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night" delivered a 2.2 average in 18-49, up 5% from Thursday's result, while "NBA Countdown" fell 18% to a 2.3.

The report notes that the numbers are subject to more than the usual adjustments due to the nature of live programming. Special programming was the order of the night, with NBC airing the Miss USA contest from 8-11 p.m. and CBS providing live coverage of the Tony Awards, which ran from 8-11:09 p.m.

Miss USA delivered a 1.4 average for NBC in the 18-49 demo, up 8% from a year ago. NBC's "Dateline" climbed 13% from its most recent Sunday installment to a 0.9.

CBS scored a 1.2 for the Tonys, matching last year's number in viewers 18-49. A "60 Minutes" repeat opened prime time for CBS with a 1.0.

Fox countered with a mix of fresh and repeat programs, winding up in fourth place among the big four broadcast nets. Its two originals were "Enlisted," which matched last week's slim 0.4 average in viewers 18-49, and the series finale of "Cosmos," which fell off 15% from a week ago to a 1.3.

For prime time overall, ABC's 4.4 average was the best number by far in adults 18-49, followed by NBC (1.2 average), CBS (1.1), Fox (0.9) and Univision (0.4). ABC also led comfortably in total viewers with 11.0 million, leading CBS (7.4 million), NBC (5.4 million), Fox (2.2 million) and Univision (1.1 million).

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