OAKLAND, CA – JUNE 05: Tristan Thompson #13 of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes up for a shot against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 5, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The 11.8 overnight rating for Sunday’s Game 2 of the Golden State Warriors – Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals matchup is down a bit from the ABC-record 13.1 overnight rating for Game 1, but it’s still a strong result compared to historical NBA on ABC ratings. The 11.8 is tied for the third-best NBA Finals Game 2 rating on ABC, which certainly isn’t bad (it’s also notable how that’s ahead of the 11.2 record cable audience for Game 7 of this year’s Golden State-Oklahoma City series, further reinforcing how broadcast still has a leg up on cable), and the 12.4 average of the Game 1 and 2 ratings is the second-best through two games in NBA on ABC history. The streaming numbers were pretty good again, too; Game 1 was the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN, and Game 2 was the third-most watched NBA game ever on the service, with 875,000 unique viewers and an average minute audience of 267,000 (down from 1 million and 347,000 respectively in Game 1).

Why were the numbers down a bit for Game 2? Well, part of it is probably the lopsided nature of the result. Yes, the Warriors’ 104-89 Game 1 victory wasn’t particularly close either, but it was at times, and a 15-point margin isn’t the worst in the world. Golden State was even more dominant Sunday, though, and the 110-77 win they pulled off was a 33-point margin of victory, the highest ever for Game 2 of a NBA Finals. That may have led to Cavaliers’ fans in particular exiting early; it’s notable that Cleveland still tied for the best local rating here (with San Francisco) with a 32.1, but that was well below the 36.0 it posted in Game 1, while San Francisco’s drop-off was more gradual (32.8 to 32.1). There was also strong competition Sunday night, particularly with HBO’s Game of Thrones. Still, this is a pretty good rating for ABC, albeit not a record one, and it has them in position to have a strong Finals. They’ll be likely hoping the Cavaliers can be more competitive when the series heads to Cleveland Wednesday. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. Eastern.

[ESPN Media Zone]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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