UPDATE, 1:31 PM: The final numbers are in for Game 1 of the NBA Finals and it remains a loss for ABC. Running from 9 PM – 11:39 PM ET, the match-up between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat received a 5.7/18 with 14.2 million viewers watching. That’s down 17% among Adults 18-49 from the first game of last year’s NBA Final on June 12, 2012. The game was also down 12% in terms of viewers from last year. Having said that, Thursday’s game was the best ever start for a finals that ABC has had when the Spurs are playing. The Heat and the Spurs meet up for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday evening at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET on ABC.
PREVIOUSLY, 9:09 AM: With a last minute basket from Tony Parker to seal the deal, the San Antonio Spurs beat reigning champions the Miami Heat 92-88 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals last night but ABC took a loss. Thursday’s Game 1 posted a 10.6 overnight rating. That’s down from the 11.8 last year’s Game 1 match-up between the Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder scored on June 12, 2012, which was the best result in 8 years. Last night’s result peaked at a 13.1 rating during its 11:30 PM to 11:45 PM ET conclusion. In primetime fast nationals, the NBA Finals Game 1 (4.9/14) was down 23% from the 6.4/18 fast primetime nationals of last year’s Game 1. Last night’s game was watched by 12.29 million viewers in primetime. Preliminary ratings have the special pre-game Game Night on Jimmy Kimmel Live (2.1/7) down 5% from the 2.2/7 the late night host received in fast nationals last year but up 110% from the final 1.0/3 his show got on June 12, 2012. In metered market household ratings, Kimmel was up 35% over last year with a 3.8/7 to 2012′s 2.8/5. The live NBA Countdown (2.5/8) before the game was up 9% from the 2.3/7 it garnered in the final numbers last year. As is typical with such live events, except the results to adjust with the final numbers later in the day. Regardless, ABC won the night in viewers and among Adults 18-49.
The Spurs and Heat meet up for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday evening at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET on ABC.
There actually were other things on TV on Thursday besides basketball. Over on Fox, Hell’s Kitchen (2.1/7) was even with last week’s show. Gordon Ramsay was followed by the third week of Does Someone Have To Go (1.2/3). After a sharp 23% drop last week from its May 23 premiere, the new reality show was up 20% on Thursday. NBC started its night with back-to-back episodes of Save Me. The 8 PM (0.7/3) and 8:30 PM (0.7/3) airings of the Anne Heche comedy were up 17% from their May 30 shows. A new Hannibal (0.9/3) closed out the network’s night. The recently renewed drama was down 10% to hit a new season low. Both CBS and The CW were all encores on Thursday. CBS’ The Big Bang Theory repeat was the second most watched show of the night with 8.89 million viewers.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.