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Ratings for Game 1 of NBA Finals Best in 3 Years

NBA finals logo
(Image credit: NBA)

NEW YORK—ABC and ESPN announced today that NBA Finals Game 1, in which the Boston Celtics defeated the Golden State Warriors 120-108, averaged nearly 12 million viewers (11,901,000) across ABC and ESPN2 on June 2. 

It was up 37 percent from last year’s Game 1, according to Nielsen.

Game 1 peaked with nearly 13 million viewers (12,963,000) at 10:45 p.m. ET and was the most-watched NBA Finals Game 1 in three years. It also propelled ABC to win the night across all of television – broadcast and cable – and in every key demo, including P18-34, P18-49, P25-54, M18-34, M18-49 and M25-54.

The broadcast generated a 19.6 rating in the Boston market, making it the highest-rated NBA game in the market since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2018. 

In the San Francisco market, Game 1 drew a 22.5 rating, making it the highest-rated NBA game in the market since Game 6 of the NBA Finals in 2019.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.