NBA Finals: Game 3 Finishes Down From Game 2


Despite hitting a series-high in the overnights, ratings and viewership for Sunday’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals dropped below Thursday’s Game 2.

Sunday’s Heat/Mavericks Game 3 earned a 9.1 final rating and 15.338 million viewers on ABC, down 5% in ratings and 4% in viewership from last year (LAL/BOS G3: 9.6, 15.959M), but up 6% and 8%, respectively, from 2009 (LAL/ORL G3: 8.6, 14.196M).

For some perspective, Mavericks/Heat Game 3 in 2006 drew an 8.0 and 12.246 million viewers, and Spurs/Cavaliers Game 3 in 2007 (LeBron James‘ third NBA Finals game) drew a 6.4 and 9.492 million.

Game 3 drew a lower rating and fewer viewers than Thursday’s Game 2 (9.3, 15.522M), despite a preliminary overnight rating that was 6% higher (11.1 for Game 3 to 10.5 for Game 2).

Despite the decline from last year, Sunday’s game ranks as the second-highest rated, second-most-viewed Game 3 of the NBA Finals since 2004 (LAL/DET: 10.5, 16.213M), and the top Game 3 of a non-Lakers NBA Finals since 1999 (SA/NY G3: 17.01M, NBC).

Sunday’s game hit series-lows in adults 18-49 (6.1) and adults 18-34 (6.0). The 6.1 rating among adults 18-49 marks a 9% decrease from last year (6.7), but ranks as the second-best Game 3 rating in the demo since 2004 (7.0).

Through three games, the 2011 NBA Finals is averaging a 9.1 rating and 15.311 million viewers on ABC, flat in ratings and up less than 1% in viewership compared to last year (LAL/BOS: 9.1, 15.252M), and up 11% in both measures compared to 2009 (LAL/ORL: 8.2, 13.791M).

The series ranks as the most-viewed NBA Finals since Pistons/Lakers in 2004 (15.916M), and is tied as the highest rated.

Among adults 18-49, the series is averaging a 6.3 rating — flat compared to last year, up 11% from 2009 (5.7), and tied as the highest since 2004.

(Numbers from TV By the Numbers,,

  • JakeFrankie

    The Finals ratings never change, There always in the 9’s and 10’s these days. Texas teams never fare well in the Finals, Besides 1995 Finals every Texas team in the finals brings lower ratings.

    But again it’s 2011 Getting a 9.1 is pretty good.

  • Jlasoon

    Wow, Sunday night was lower? Really?