Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals Audience Is Tops Since Michael Jordan’s Last Championship

Seven-game series averages 20.2 million total viewers per game

NBA Finals
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The fat lady has officially sung the Golden State Warriors to sleep, and the just-buzzered NBA Finals averaged 20.2 million total viewers per game — the most for the championship series since 1998.

Sunday’s Game 7 alone hit 30.8 million linear audience members — tops since Michael Jordan closed out Game 6 of those ’98 finals. That was the other No. 23’s last NBA Championship.

This one, with LeBron James donning the 23 jersey, posted a 15.7 U.S. household rating, per Nielsen. The gaudy Game 7 tune-in peaked with 44.5 million viewers from 10:30-10:40 p.m. ET. Those 10 minutes scored a 22.5 rating.

Click here for the fast national numbers for just primetime; click here for the earlier metered market overnights ratings.

Sunday’s contest delivered a 46.3 in the triumphant Cleveland market, making it the second-highest rated NBA game ever in the market. In the Warriors’ hometown of San Francisco, the game generated a 39.4 rating, which also ranks second all-time for an NBA game. The rest of the Top 10 markets included Columbus (30.1), Miami (24.3), San Antonio (23.6), Sacramento (23.3), Memphis (21.7), Atlanta (21.3), Dayton (21.0) and Norfolk (20.7).

The Finals finale was also the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN, with 96.3 million total minutes streamed. The app earned 1.8 million unique viewers, with an average audience minute of 598,000. That’s the most for a non-World Cup event ever on WatchESPN.