NBA Finals Game One A Ratings Hit; Up 45% Over Last Year

Last
night’s opening game of the best-of-seven NBA Finals on ABC between the Los
Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics averaged 13,384,000 viewers (P2+), an
increase of 45 percent compared to last year (9,206,000 viewers for Cleveland
at San Antonio). The Lakers/Celtics game averaged an 8.7 rating, up 38
percent over last year’s 6.3 rating, and 9,813,000 households, an increase of
40 percent over 6,991,000 households in 2007.

The broadcast “won the night” among all television networks, averaging
more homes and viewers than any other show, with ABC winning primetime overall
among all networks. The network marked its highest-rated Thursday among
young men (Men 18-34 and Men 18-49) since September 2005.

The
Lakers/Celtics broadcast was the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed NBA
Finals Game 1 since Lakers/Detroit Pistons in 2004 (9.8 rating; 10,634,000
households).

Among
key demos, the NBA led the competition among (demo impressions in parenthesis):
Men
18-34 (2,312,000) Men
18-49 (4,604,000) Men
25-54 (4,582,000) Adults
18-34 (3,536,000) Adults
18-49 (7,087,000) Adults
25-54 (7,030,000)

Additionally,
the ESPN.com NBA section generated nearly 5.7 million page views – an increase
of 64 percent over the comparable day last year. For all of
yesterday through 3 p.m. ET today, the NBA section had over 7.9 million page
views – almost 40 percent more than the first day and all of the following day
of last year’s Finals.

Game 2 of the series will air on ABC Sunday with
coverage starting with GMC NBA Countdown at 8:30 p.m. ET. The
games are also heard nationally on ESPN Radio.