TV Ratings Rumors
ABC’s primetime telecast of the 2022 NBA Draft notched a 0.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demo Thursday, while a repeat of Young Sheldon on CBS was the night’s highest-rated scripted show. According to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen, 1.77 million viewers tuned into the draft on ABC, which carried the first round live from Barclays Center in New York; ESPN simulcast the event and aired both the first and second rounds.
Ben Cafardo: 🏀Viewership for the 2022 NBA Draft was up 33 percent from last year, according to Nielsen. Both last year and this year the event aired on ESPN and ABC in the first round and ESPN-only in the second round. The first round averaged 4 million and was most-watched program on TV.
Nearly 14 million people watched the Golden State Warriors win its fourth NBA championship since 2015 by beating the Boston Celtics in the sixth game of their series. The series that matched the NBA’s most current dynasty against the one with the most championships overall averaged 12.3 million viewers, which was 24% more than the 2021 series between Milwaukee and Phoenix, the Nielsen company said.
Each of these sports events was seen on ABC, allowing the network to dominate the weekly ratings race. ABC averaged 5 million viewers in prime time last week, CBS averaged 2.8 million, NBC averaged 2.6 million, Fox had 1.5 million, Univision had 1.1 million, Telemundo had 940,000 and Ion Television had 900,000.
The Golden State Warriors have returned to 2018 levels; NBA Finals ratings have not. The six-game Warriors-Celtics NBA Finals averaged 12.40 million viewers on ABC, topping only the past two out-of-season years as the least-watched Finals since 2007 (Spurs-Cavaliers: 9.29M). In the Nielsen people meter era, which dates back to 1988, this year’s Finals tops only the past two years, 2007 and 2003 (Spurs-Nets: 9.86M). Ratings were not immediately available.
Declines from 2019 would be even more pronounced if not for inclusion of out-of-home data, which was not included in 2019 or prior years. Keep in mind that the sizable drop in linear television viewing since ’19 (-26% during the Finals) may mitigate the out-of-home effect. The Finals averaged a 20 share, the highest since 2017, and the playoffs averaged a 9 — the highest on record — meaning that while fewer viewers were tuning in, a larger percentage of the shrinking linear TV audience was watching the games.