ABC, ESPN Playoff Basketball Ratings Up

The NBA playoff household ratings on ABC and ESPN are up 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively, through the Conference semifinals, according to Nielsen Media Research data, with sizable gains in men 18-34 and 18-49.

Through nine broadcasts, ABC is averaging a 3.7 household rating, up from a 2.9, through the Conference semifinals last year; while ESPN is averaging a 2.8 rating through 16 telecasts, up from a 2.2 rating last year.

The Sunday, May 18, Eastern Conference Semifinal Game 7 on ABC, won by the Boston Celtics over the Cleveland Cavaliers, earned a 5.7 household rating, the fourth most watched non-Finals NBA Playoff broadcast ever on the network.

ABC has drawn 41 percent more men 18-34, reaching 1.1 million, 36 percent more men 18-49 (2 million viewers); and 39 percent more men 25-54, reaching 1.9 million.

ESPN has drawn 43 percent more men 18-34, reaching 826,000, 36 percent more men 18-49 (1.4 million viewers); and 40 percent more men 25-54, reaching 1.3 million.