Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 at 3:25 pm  |  36 responses

NBA Finals TV Ratings Down From Last Year

The first two games of the NBA Finals series between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs resulted in a TV ratings slip for ABC. Game 1 was down 12% in terms of total viewers compared to last year’s series opener between Miami and the OKC Thunder; Game 2 drew 13% less viewers. Per Deadline and the AP: “The final numbers are in for Game 1 of the NBA Finals and it remains a loss for ABC. Running from 9 PM – 11:39 PM ET, the match-up between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat received a 5.7/18 with 14.2 million viewers watching. That’s down 17% among Adults 18-49 from the first game of last year’s NBA Final on June 12, 2012. The game was also down 12% in terms of viewers from last year. Having said that, Thursday’s game was the best ever start for a finals that ABC has had when the Spurs are playing. [...] The NBA Finals’ television viewership for Game 2 was down 13 percent from last year. Miami’s 103-84 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night on ABC was watched by 14.6 million people. That’s down from 16.7 million for the Heat-Thunder series a year ago. Miami had turned Sunday’s game into a blowout by midway through the fourth quarter. The Heat’s Game 2 win last season was still in doubt in the final minute.”

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  • spit hot fiyah

    so viewing increased for 18 and younger and old folks?

  • Joey

    I blame the Spurs

  • CCT

    No one outside of San Antonio wants to watch them for more than a game or two. Stern thought that this was a matchup people wanted to see. It’s not accurate. Basketball fans, real fans, enjoy it.

    Fringe fans….fans that could boost the ratings have no interest in a team like the Spurs. It’s the truth. And all the people that said “the rest of America wants the Heat to lose”? Well, where are they all to watch them be knocked off the throne? It’s all over-hyped horesh*t.

    Stern knows if the Spurs win, memorabilia revenue will be just a blip and trying to sell Duncan, Parker and Ginobli is a losing battle. Cold reality of the business. Get used to it.

    Just imagine how awful the ratings would have been if the Pacers would have been there?

  • Max

    Last year is was just so high because it were the top 2 bandwagon teams..

  • i_ball

    For what? winning?


    we all do joey. lool

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ^ truth. This needed to be said

  • bike

    I don’t know what counts as a viewing, but in a series like this with the Spurs playing, I wonder what percentage of viewers will watch an entire game versus a blowout like game 2.

  • pposse

    did they always have the games start at 9 et???

  • JML-G

    word, Spurs is the most boring team in the NBA

  • Junior Taylor

    This is why I always call “bullsh*t” whenever fans talk about how they want small-market teams to win and complain about the NBA wanting big market teams to meet in the Finals. When teams like the Spurs play in the Finals, all those so-called fans don’t watch.

  • The Seed

    We need Kobe back in the NBA Finals, for at least ratings.

  • robb

    Go watch the Globetrotters then.

  • Max

    It’s just people who don’t watch alot of NBA, who think the Spurs are a boring team, because they never watch them, that don’t watch it I think.

  • Will Lee

    I don’t want ratings! I m a basketball fan!!! If scores are made up I would be mad and stop buying whatever


    I didn’t watch last year because I didn’t want either team to win, not a minute of it. While I’m no great fan of the Spurs, I respect them and so have someone to root for this time around; and, at least for me, Tony Parker is a genuinely exciting player to watch. This year I have every intention of watching to the end, whatever it may be. Screw the television ratings.

  • Youngindy21

    You say the Indiana Pacers are bad for ratings, but the Miami-Indiana series was the highest rated series in the NBA playoffs this year.

  • Youngindy21

    It’s for the people out West so they can watch the game at a reasonable time.

  • Youngindy21

    America hates the Miami Heat so why would they have good ratings? Some of it might have to do with the San Antonio Spurs but the majority of it has to do with the Miami being an unlikable team full of arrogant floppers and whiners. Nobody wants to watch a team that needs the refs help just to win. Last year people only tuned in to see if Lebron was gonna win a ring and to watch Durant and Westbrook

  • BIG ED

    I think the casual fan is Heat fatigued. They won there title already. Last 2 year finals started on Tuesday which made ratings higher. But Heat played higher profile teams Dallas top 10 TV market and Thunder biggest star in KD.

  • The Fury

    You’re one of those fans that CCT mentioned….

  • danpowers

    as basketball fans we shouldnt worry anyway. the nba business takes a little hit. so what? there will be blockbuster matchups again. now “real” basketball fans, as boring as it might appear compared to highlight machines like a healthy thunder squad, should appreciate to watch a team like the spurs playing the most intelligent and probably team orientated basketball as there is in the nba.

    big numbers would draw interest of the casual fans tho. if people read that james would put up 40 or 50 in a win, they would join in the next game hoping to see that again. but none of them want to see an unglamorous squad dissecting a highlight machine that (at the moment) runs out of highlights.

  • danpowers

    so what? let the ratings go down. the nba will continue. just appreciate the basketball. its not all about business

  • danpowers

    for playing the right way. ask kobe fans – nobody wants to see that in the nba. one on one or better one on five heroics, please! lol

  • pposse

    i get that but what about the people out east??! 9pm is unreasonable, if the game goes into OT your lookin at the game ending around 1230 am.

  • RayJr

    After game 3 I bet viewing was down 20% from last year. Nobody besides San Antonio or south Texas really cares about the Spurs so I’d say that was the majority of viewers from mid 3rd qtr on.

  • Jason Carter

    Its a product of the Spurs playing, and also MIA not looking how they normally do.

  • Mike From Spain

    I want to watch. I bought the NBA league pass international for the whole season. I watched regular season games, sometimes black outs were a problem. But now, ALL the Finals games are blacked out here in Spain! OK, there are local networks airing the games, but they are pay per view. I cannot watch even though I paid for the games, directly to the NBA. SMFH. Really. If anyone connected to NBA league pass is reading this, or if you read my rants in the League Pass support forum, know that it’s b**lshit to charge for a product and then not serve it. Change the deal with the local TV networks or something, but don’t scr*w the fans who pay good money!

  • PlayTymeMag(.)Com

    Cause we knew it was going 7.

  • PlayTymeMag(.)Com

    More boring than Utah?

  • king_tut

    miami is like floyd pretty boy.. they will watch cause they want to see him fail..i guess.

  • roscoe

    i will attribute the low ratings to college Finals getting in the way…

    now that i am done, my focus for hoops is clear.

  • roscoe

    isn’t interesting though that the games best player, bron bron, cannot get ratings.

    i wonder what the Finals ratings were for CHI/POR or CHI/PHX or CHI/SEA or CHI/UTH x2? relative to growth, etc, etc…

  • Mike From Spain

    as a 6th man off the bench? har har har

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  • JL

    I have the international LP as well. Good thing I live in HK, where people don’t like the NBA. Soccer all day long though.