After a decline in the overnights, Game 2 of the NBA Finals finished as the highest rated in seven years.
Thursday’s Mavericks/Heat Game 2 drew a 9.3 final rating and 15.520 million viewers on ABC, up 1% in ratings and down 1% in viewership compared to last year (BOS/LAL G2: 9.2, 15.718M), and up 13% and 10%, respectively, from 2009 (ORL/LAL G2: 8.2, 14.061M).
The game ranks as the highest rated Game 2 of the NBA Finals since 2004 (DET/LAL G2: 10.7), and the top Game 2 since 1999 that did not involve the Lakers (NY/SA G2: 9.6, NBC).
For some perspective, Heat/Mavericks Game 2 in 2006 drew an 8.0 and 12.410 million viewers. Cavaliers/Spurs Game 2 in 2007 (LeBron James‘ second NBA Finals game) drew a 5.6 and 8.551 million.
The 9.3 final rating for Game 2 marks a decline of just 11% from the 10.5 overnight, the smallest drop from the overnight to the final rating for any NBA Finals game since Heat/Mavericks Game 6 in 2006 (9%: 11.1 overnight, 10.1 final).
Game 2 drew a 6.5 rating among adults 18-49, matching both Game 1 on Tuesday night and last year’s Celtics/Lakers Game 2. Among women 18-34 and teens 12-17, Thursday’s game ranked as the highest rated Game 2 on ABC since the network acquired rights to the NBA in 2002.
Thursday’s game was the highest rated, most-viewed program of the night on broadcast, and the top program in all key adult demographics (18-34, 18-49 and 25-54). According to an ESPN release, this marks the the 21st straight NBA Finals game to finish as the highest rated program of the night on broadcast.
Through Game 2, the 2011 NBA Finals is averaging 15.347 million viewers on ABC, up 3% from last year (14.913M).