A Game 7 showdown that was billed as the biggest NBA game in years lived up to the hype both with a nail-biter finish and with record ratings.
The deciding game of the NBA Finals, in which LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers were crowned champions by defeating Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors 93-89, was the highest-rated NBA game ever on ABC or sister network ESPN.
Media Life Magazine reports that the game delivered an average 18.9 overnight household rating, based on Nielsen metered markets. It peaked with a 25.5 from 10:30-10:45 p.m. as Cleveland wrapped up the win.
“It surpassed ABC’s previous highest-rated NBA game, Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, by 0.7,” Media Life reports. “It marked the highest-rated sporting event on either ESPN or ABC in a decade, and it was up 7 percent from the last Game 7 of the finals, in 2013 when the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs squared off.”
Among the milestones notched along the way, the Cavaliers became the first NBA team in history to overcome a 3.1 series deficit in the Finals to win a title, and the city of Cleveland won its first championship in a major sport since 1964.