Last night’s NBA Finals Game 7 was the highest-rated NBA game ever on ABC, per early Nielsen numbers.
The landmark Cleveland Cavaliers championship victory averaged a big 18.9 overnight rating, per the 56 metered markets.
That preliminary number marks the highest-rated sports telecast on ABC or ESPN in a decade, and was up seven percent from the most recent NBA Finals Game 7 — Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs in 2013 — which drew a 17.7 overnight rating.
The previous highest-rated NBA game ever on ABC was Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics in 2010, which drew an 18.2 overnight rating.
Sunday’s instant-classic contest peaked with a 25.5 overnight rating from 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET. The Cavs triumph marked the first professional sports championship for the city of Cleveland in 52 years.
Game 7 delivered a 46.3 in the Cleveland market, making it the second-highest rated NBA game ever in the market. In San Francisco, near the Golden State Warriors’ hometown of Oakland,
The Finals-clincher 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.