After trailing last year’s LA Lakers-Boston Celtics matchup for the first five games, this year’s NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat came out on top for the deciding Game 6, in which Dallas defeated Miami 105-95 to win the franchise’s first NBA championship. Last night’s game generated a 15.0 overnight household rating to become the highest-rated Game 6 ever on ABC and the highest overall in 11 years. (ABC has been carrying the NBA Finals since 2003). Versus last year’s Game 6 between the Lakers and Celtics, last night’s closer was up 22%, though the Lakers-Celtics series went to a seventh game, which posted a monster 18.2 overnight rating. Compared to Game 6 of the 2006 Finals between the Mavericks and Heat, last night’s game was up 35%. The NBA Finals secured a dominating Sunday victory for ABC in total viewers and adults 18-49. In the not-time-zone-adjusted fast nationals, the network’s averages were a 7.3/20 in 18-49 and 18 million viewers, with the numbers expected to climb when true fast nationals/finals are announced.
Airing against the deciding game of the NBA Finals, the 65th Annual Tony Awards (1.2/3, 7 million viewers) was up 9% in 18-49 from last year. The ceremony, which drew praise for host Neil Patrick Harris, was dominated by Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s breakout hit The Book of Mormon, which won nine awards, including best musical. NBC and Fox aired repeats, with Fox (1.4/4) finishing second to ABC in the demo.
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