An NBA playoff game that aired over the weekend hit a ratings milestone, with the news that ABC’s coverage of Sunday’s Game 7 of the Cleveland-Indiana series delivered a 5.4 Metered Market rating to become the highest-rated first-round game in 14 years across networks.
“The 5.4 rating was up 29 percent from last year’s comparable game – LA Clippers vs. Utah Jazz Game 7, which drew a 4.2 rating,” ESPN announced. “Game 7 on ABC peaked from 3:30-3:45 p.m. ET with a 7.4 rating. In the Cleveland market, Game 7 generated a 24.6 rating, making it the highest-rated first round NBA Playoffs game since 2010. In Indianapolis, Game 7 drew a 21.6 rating, which is the best rating ever for a first round game in the market.”
The last time a first-round NBA playoff game delivered a higher rating was on April 25, 2004, when the Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game on ABC delivered a 5.8 rating. There have been 625 nationally televised first-round games since then.
“Additionally, ABC’s coverage of Game 1 between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz on Sunday delivered a 4.4 metered market rating, up 38 percent from last year’s comparable game — Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards, which drew a 3.2 rating,” ESPN noted. “The 4.4 rating also outdrew every second round telecast from 2017. The broadcast generated a 12.1 rating in the Salt Lake City market and an 11.9 rating in the Houston market.”
Through six broadcasts, the 2018 NBA Playoffs on ABC are averaging a 4.2 metered market rating, up 11 percent from 2017.