Ratings Roundup: TNT’s WCF Game 7 Is Cable’s Most Watched NBA Telecast of All Time

Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Western Conference Finals on Monday, May 30, averaged 15.9 million total viewers and an 8.8 U.S. HH rating to deliver cable television’s most-viewed NBA telecast of all time and TNT’s most-watched program in the 28-year history of the network, based on Fast Nationals. Last night’s Thunder/Warriors Game 7 was the most watched (non-Finals) NBA telecast – broadcast or cable – since 2000 (WCF Game 7, Lakers/Trail Blazers). The Warriors series clinching victory over the Thunder peaked with 19.8 million total viewers and a 10.9 U.S. HH rating from 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET.

NBAonTNTplayoffsThis year’s seven-game NBA Western Conference Finals on TNT averaged 9.9 million total viewers and a 5.9 U.S. HH rating to generate the most-viewed WCF coverage ever on cable television. The 2016 NBA Western Conference Finals is up 47% in total viewers and 40% in U.S. HH rating when compared with 2014, the last time the network aired the WCF. Overall, TNT’s coverage of the 2016 NBA Playoffs averaged 4.7 million total viewers and a 2.9 U.S. HH rating for its 42-game schedule, up 16% and 12% — along with increases across all key male and adult demos – vs. 2015’s comparable coverage. Games

TNT’s exclusive coverage of the NBA Western Conference Finals won the night across all of cable television each night.  Collectively, withInside the NBA, TNT registered the top two programs on cable television six times during the Conference Finals and two times spanning both cable and broadcast. The Warriors’ series-clinching win averaged a 30.9 in San Francisco, TNT’s highest-rated NBA telecast of all time in that market. Additional top local markets for last night’s telecast include Oklahoma City (30.0), Cleveland (20.7), Sacramento (19.2) and Tulsa (15.5). TNT’s Warriors/Thunder Game 7 garnered the most-viewed sports program on cable television since April, when Turner presented the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across TBS, TNT and truTV.

Additionally, Inside the NBA garnered a 4.8 HH rating, the show’s highest overnight delivery ever.  The Thunder/Warriors game telecast andInside the NBA delivered the top two programs of the night across all of television (cable and broadcast). Throughout the 2016 NBA Western Conference Finals, Inside the NBA out-delivered all late night talk show programming (cable and broadcast) in total viewers and across each key adult and male demos.

Turner’s TV Everywhere platforms netted all-time records for the Warriors/Thunder Game 7 including one million uniques, 1.7 million video starts and 23 million minutes of video consumption. Content published via NBA on TNT’s Facebook and Twitter accounts generated more than two billion social media million impressions for this year’s NBA Playoffs, up 46% over last year. Turner’s accounts have netted more than 161 million video views, up 151% vs. 2015…

…ABC’s live telecast of the 100th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29, earned a 3.8 rating, averaging 5,859,785 viewers, according to Nielsen Fast National data. The national rating peaked at a 4.4 in the half-hour from 3-3:30 p.m., with 6.8 million watching. The rating and viewership were down from last year’s 4.1 rating and 6.394 million average viewers. The Indy 500 telecast also was streaming live on WatchESPN for the first time and had an average minute audience of 23,000 and 5.3 million total minutes viewed.

With the race sold out and the traditional local television blackout lifted, the race aired live in Indianapolis for the first time since 1950 and viewers responded with a 33.6 local rating, adding two-tenths of a ratings point to the national rating. Last year’s race aired locally on delay at 7 p.m. and earned a 12.9 rating, still the nation’s largest among metered markets. Milwaukee had the second-largest rating among local markets with an 8.4, followed by Dayton, Ohio, at 7.6, Cincinnati at 7.2 and Knoxville, Tenn., at 6.6. Rounding out the top 10 metered markets were Fort Myers/Naples, Fla., at 5.9, Seattle/Tacoma at 5.8, Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C., and Louisville, Ky., at 5.7 and Columbus, Ohio, at 5.6…

…NBC and NBCSN’s coverage of the 2016 Western Conference Final, in which the San Jose Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues in six games, averaged 1.505 million viewers and produced a 0.9 rating to rank as NBC Sports Group’s most-watched and highest-rated non-Blackhawks Western Conference Final (since 2006)…

…FOX broadcast network’s first-ever FA Cup-MLS doubleheader on Saturday, May 21 produced bit numbers. Jesse Lingard’s remarkable goal in extra time to give Manchester United a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final delivered 1.018 million viewers, +26% in total viewers compared to the 2015 final (809,000 viewers) when Arsenal defeated Aston Villa. Saturday’s FA Cup presentation ranks as the most-watched FA Cup Final on the network since FOX began airing the competition in 2013. Immediately following, eyes turned to MLS Heineken Rivalry Week as the New York Red Bulls hammered crosstown rivals New York City FC, 7-0, at Yankee Stadium. Despite the one-sided nature of the affair, the match delivered 595,000 total viewers, making it MLS’s most-watched regular-season telecast on any network since October 2014… 

…Exaggerator’s muddy run to victory in Saturday’s 141st Preakness Stakes on NBC averaged 9.4 million viewers – up 6% from Triple Crown-winner American Pharoah’s first-place finish at Pimlico last year (8.9 million viewers). NBC’s average of 9.4 million viewers also marked the third time in four years that its Preakness Stakes audience topped nine million viewers (9.6 million for California Chrome in 2014; 9.7 million for Oxbow in 2013) – the first such stretch in a decade (9+ million in 2004-2006 for respective Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, and Bernardini wins in the Preakness). Viewership peaked at 11.4 million viewers from 6:45-7 p.m. ET, as Exaggerator overtook Kentucky Derby-winner Nyquist for the Preakness victory. Nyquist finished third.

The 2016 Preakness Stakes on NBC (6:20-7:09 p.m. ET) posted a 5.8/14 HH rating — up 5% from last year’s race (5.5/13). Baltimore, the home of the Preakness Stakes, topped the metered markets with a 19.7 rating/38 share – the race’s best rating in the city since 2009 and up 17% from last year. Louisville, the home of the Kentucky Derby, ranked second with a 14.6/28 – an increase of 23% from the 2015 Preakness.

NBC Sports Live Extra’s presentation of the Preakness Stakes ranks as the most streamed Preakness ever, delivering 3.1 million minutes, up 221% from last year. The stream also delivered a record 115,000 unique users…

…With the 2015-16 TV season wrapping up last week, NBC’s Sunday Night Football finished as television’s No. 1 primetime show in household rating (13.0) and viewership (22.5 million average) for the fifth consecutive season, based on live plus same day data from The Nielsen Company (September-May). Sunday Night Football also ranked as the No. 1 show in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic for the sixth consecutive TV season. Sunday Night Football is one of only four shows since 1950 to rank No. 1 in primetime for five consecutive TV seasons (American Idol 2005-06 through 2010-11, The Cosby Show 1985-86 through 1989-90, All in the Family 1971-72 through 1975-76, and Gunsmoke 1957-58 through 1960-61).

NBC’s 10th season of Sunday Night Football wrapped up on January 3, 2016, as the network’s most-watched and highest-rated SNF season ever. Viewership also marked a 19-year high for the NFL’s premier primetime package. For the 2015-16 primetime television season, Sunday Night Football ranked as the highest-rated (13.0 HH rating) and most-watched show (22.5 million viewers), and the No. 1 program among Adults 18-49 (8.0). Since the beginning of the 2011-12 TV season, only seven primetime shows have averaged 21+ million viewers, all on NBC – Sunday Night Football five times, the 2012 London Olympics, and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. SNF’s five-year run at the top marks the only five times on record that a sports series has been the highest-rated and most-watched show of the primetime TV season.  Sunday Night Football games represented more than half of all primetime telecasts (13 of 23) which averaged at least 20 million viewers. During the NFL postseason (not included in SNF season average), NBC televised in primetime on January 16, 2016, the thrilling overtime Green Bay-Arizona NFC Divisional Playoff game, which averaged 33.7 million viewers…

…NBC Universo’s Liga MX final match (Pachuca vs. Monterrey) on Thursday was the highest-rated telecast in the network’s history with an average of 808,000 total viewers. The match also delivered 507,000 adults 18-49, the best ever in the demo…

…Telemundo and NBC Universo’s Futbol Estelar simulcast of the Pachuca/Leon match hit a cumulative audience of 3.2 million viewers on Sunday, including 1.9 million adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. The broadcast averaged 1.4 million total viewers and 831,000 adults 18-49…