in Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 12, 2017 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.

The NBA Finals started off slow, but ended very strong. The championship-clinching Game 5 for the Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers resulted in a 16.0 overnight rating. That’s the highest-rated NBA Finals Game 5 dating back to 1998. As the game was ending, the rating peaked with an 18.8 rating.

The rating led ABC to a primetime win across all broadcast outlets and is expected when the final numbers are settled to be the number one show in all of television on Monday. And it will be the 60th consecutive time that the NBA Finals will win primetime across cable and broadcast.

Last night’s overnight rating was up 13% from both 2015 and 2016 which both had the Cavs and Warriors.

The top local markets for Game 5 ended up as follows:

  1. San Francico-Oakland — 39.6
  2. Cleveland — 37.1
  3. Columbus — 23.3
  4. Sacramento — 21.2
  5. Atlanta — 21.0
  6. Miami — 20.6
  7. Memphis — 20.1
  8. Los Angeles — 19.1
  9. Chicago — 18.6
  10. Richmond — 17.7

In addition, the streaming audience for Game 5 was the highest for the NBA Finals dating back to last year’s Game 7. ESPN says the game had an average minute streaming audience of 537,000 viewers with over 2.1 million unique viewers.

So the 2017 NBA Finals which began with Game 1’s overnights performing lower than the previous two Finals openers, it ended up with higher numbers despite blowouts early on.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.