I was reading through all of the ratings numbers after Game Six and something weird stuck out. The 2008 Finals obviously handily took out most of the years past, including last years worst total rating ever of 6.2, but for some reason couldn’t beat the 2004 matchup of the Pistons and Lakers.
The Celtics-Lakers Finals pulled in an ending average of 9.3 over the six game series and Game Six itself finished with 10.7 rating (12,085,000 households). Game Six also beat 2005’s Heat-Mavs Game Six by 7% (there wasn’t one last year) and won the night for ABC. In fact all six games won each night they aired for the network, which is huge for a Finals series.
Of course the late 90s had the Bulls and 1998 had the highest average number during the Bulls-Jazz Series (18.7), but the Pistons-Lakers in 2000 (11.5)? I know that series featured some pretty great players, and it was a huge upset, but three of those five games were blowouts and Boston is definitely a bigger market than Detroit (although not by much). In the end, I don’t know if the 80s and 90s numbers will ever be touched but this Finals matchup at least gave the NBA and ABC some life in regards to ratings. Especially when last year’s numbers were so dreadful.
(Numbers via ESPN PR)