What do you get when you program Game 1 of the NBA Finals against a bunch of repeats? Sheer domination in TV ratings.
ABC destroyed its broadcast competition on Thursday with the start of 2018’s (seemingly inevitable) Cavs-Warriors championship round. The Disney-owned network was first in ratings with a 4.3 rating/18 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 12 million, according to preliminary numbers. A special primetime “Jimmy Kimmel Live” at 8 p.m. scored a 2.5/12 and 8.6 million viewers. Pregame show “NBA Countdown” at 8:30 netted a 3.0/13 and 9.2 million viewers. Game 1 itself followed, pulling up the evening’s averages throughout primetime and beyond.
Due to the nature of live sports, these fast national numbers for ABC are subject to significant adjustment. Everything else on broadcast was a repeat, and the night proved a total blowout.
NBC was second in ratings with a 0.9/4 and third in viewers with 4.4 million.
CBS was third in ratings with a 0.8/3 and in viewers with 5.1 million.
Fox and Univision tied for fourth in ratings, both with a 0.5/2. Fox was fourth in total viewers with 1.8 million, Univision was fifth with 1.4 million.
Telemundo was sixth in ratings with a 0.4/2 and in viewers with 1.2 million.
The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.2/1 and in viewers with 696,000.