Game 5 of the NBA Finals, televised Monday night by ABC, wrapped up a big ratings boom for the Alphabet Network as the Golden State Warriors closed out the series against the Cleveland Cavaliers to claim their second NBA Championship in three years.
It was the third consecutive year that the same two teams met in the Finals, something that had never previously happened in the history of the NBA. Golden State won the series 4-1 with a 129-120 win in Monday’s Game 5, avenging last year’s series loss to the Cavaliers. The Warriors also beat the Cavs in the Finals in 2015.
ESPN announced that Monday’s game was the highest-rated Game 5 since 1998, based on Nielsen Metered Market data. The broadcast delivered a 16.0 Metered Market Rating, up 13% from last year.
The ABC broadcast peaked with an 18.8 rating from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET.
The game averaged 19.932 million total viewers and a 7.5 rating in the key demo of adults 18-49, based on preliminary Nielsen Fast Nationals, which include all DVR playback through 3 a.m. The demo number represents a 25% increase over Game 5 a year ago.
“Additionally, last night’s Game 5 was the most-streamed NBA Finals Game 5 ever and the second-most-streamed NBA game ever,” ESPN noted. “It generated an average minute streaming audience of 537,000 viewers, with 2,144,200 unique viewers and 92,377,200 total minutes streamed. The only NBA game to have generated a larger streaming audience was Game 7 in 2016.”
ESPN also noted: “In the San Francisco-Oakland market, the Game 5 broadcast delivered a 39.6 metered market rating and in the Cleveland market it generated a 37.1 rating. The other top local markets include: Columbus (23.3); Sacramento (21.2); Atlanta (21.0); Miami (20.6); Memphis (20.1); Los Angeles (19.1); Chicago (18.6); Richmond (17.7).”