Overall: With coverage of the 2012 NBA Finals and Nik Wallenda’s Highwire Walk Over Niagara Falls during the week, ABC scored a dominant first-place finish, leading runner up NBC by 36% in Total Viewers and by 88% in Adults 18-49. In fact, the Net ranked #1 on 5 of 7 nights in viewers and 4 of 7 nights in young adults. ABC claimed 6 of the Top 10 TV programs for the week among Adults 18-49 (the most for any net), including each of the Top 3 shows with the 2012 NBA Finals: NBA Finals on ABC-GM 2 – #1, NBA Finals on ABC-GM1 – #2, NBA Finals on ABC-GM3 – #3, Megastunts – #8, while The Bachelorette and Kia NBA Countdown-GM1 tied for #10. In addition, with the 2012 NBA Finals and Megastunts on Friday, the Net delivered 4 of the Top 5 most-watched TV shows overall. In fact, Games 1-3 of ABC’s NBA Finals stand as TV’s Top 3 telecasts in Adults 18-49 since the beginning of April, and Megastunts qualifies as Friday’s most-watched non-sports summertime telecast on the major nets since 2005. ABC marked its most-watched non-Oscar week since November and its top rated in Adults 18-49 in over 1 year – since w/o 11/21/11 and 6/6/11, respectively.
Monday: With The Bachelorette and a repeat airing of Castle, ABC finished as Monday’s most-watched TV network, winning the night over Fox (+8%), CBS (+16%) and NBC (+35%). In addition, the Net earned second place on the evening in Adults 18-49 to Fox’s all-original lineup (Hell’s Kitchen/MasterChef), beating. In viewers and young adults, ABC marked its strongest summertime Monday (Memorial Day- Labor Day) since the beginning of last August – since 8/8/11. At 8pm, ABC’s The Bachelorette won its 2-hour time period to emerge as Monday’s most-watched TV show overall. In addition, the ABC unscripted series led its slot for the 4th week running across all key Women demos (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54), standing as the night’s #1 TV series for the 4th consecutive week among its core Women 18-34 audience. Up for the 2nd week in a row in Total Viewers (+9%) and Adults 18-49 (+5%), The Bachelorette produced ABC’s top summertime numbers in the time slot since last July – since 7/25/11. In the 10 o’clock hour, ABC’s Castle scored its 2nd-highest-rated-ever summer number with Adults 18-49.
Tuesday: With coverage of the 2012 NBA Finals Game 1 between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, ABC dominated Tuesday night, outrunning its nearest competitors by 4.1 million viewers (CBS) and by 124% in Adults 18-49 (NBC and Fox tied). The Net also took full control of the evening with Adults 18-34, Adults 25-54 and across all key Men (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54), defeating all-original unscripted competition on both NBC (American Ninja Warrior/America’s Got Talent/Love in the Wild) and Fox (Hell’s Kitchen/MasterChef). ABC posted its best-ever primetime results with Game 1 of The Finals – ABC began carriage of the NBA Finals in 2003. Airing around the NBA Finals in various time periods across the country, Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night generated broad exposure for the ABC late-night talker in primetime. On average, JKL Game Night shot up by 83% in Total Viewers and by 100% in Adults 18-49 over the show’s 2011-12 TV Season average in late night. During the just-completed season, ABC’s JKL wrapped its most-watched season in 5 years (best since 2006-07), representing the show’s 2nd-biggest audience in its 10-year history. Featuring the Miami Heat at the Oklahoma City Thunder, ABC’s 2012 NBA Finals Game 1 towered over its primetime competition and finished as Tuesday’s definitive #1 TV program in Total Viewers and across each of the key Adult demographics (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54). Oklahoma City won the opening game of the series by a score of 105-94 to lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. Qualifying as the most-watched start ever on ABC, the 2012 NBA Finals drew the biggest audience for any Game 1 in 11 years – since 2001. In addition, ABC hit its highest-ever NBA Finals Game 1 numbers among Adults 18-34, Men 18-34 and Teens 12-17.
Thursday: With its continuing coverage of the 2012 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, ABC towered over Thursday night, leading its closest competitor by 4.3 million viewers (CBS) and beating the combined delivery of CBS, NBC and Fox by 21% among Adults 18-49. The Net finished #1 for the 2nd consecutive evening with its broadcast of the 2012 NBA Finals in Total Viewers and across all key Adult demos (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54). In viewers and young adults, ABC scored its strongest Thursday in more than 1 year – since 6/9/11 with Game 5 of the 2011 Dallas-Miami NBA Finals. Airing around the NBA Finals in various time periods across the country, Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night continued to garner broad exposure for the ABC late-night talker in prime. On average, JKL Game Night surged by 61% in Total Viewers and by 80% in Adults 18-49 over the show’s 2011-12 season averages in late night. Featuring the Miami Heat at the Oklahoma City Thunder, ABC’s 2012 NBA Finals Game 2 shot to the top of primetime to stand as Thursday’s dominant #1 TV show in Total Viewers and across each of the key Adult demographics. The Heat held off the Thunder by a score of 100-96 to tie the best-of-seven series 1-1. Game 2 of the 2012 Finals posted solid gains over the second game of last year’s Miami-Dallas matchup in viewers (+8%) and young adults (+9%). In Viewers and all key Adult demographics, it was the biggest NBA Finals Game 2 ever on ABC (the net began carriage in 2003), going back 11 years – since 2001 with LA-Philadelphia. Additionally, ABC delivered the highest-rated Game 2 in 14 years with Men 18-34 – since 1998 with Chicago-Utah.
Friday: With coverage surrounding Nik Wallenda’s highwire walk directly over the precipice at Niagara Falls, ABC won Friday evening by huge margins over its nearest net rival with Total Viewers (+89% – CBS), Adults 18-49 (+133% – NBC) and Adults 25-54 (+117% – NBC). ABC’s night was anchored by Josh Elliott and ESPN’s Hannah Storm, and featured reporting from Elliott, Storm, Bill Weir and Sam Champion. ABC marked its most-watched Friday since November 2007 (11/30/07). During the 8 o’clock hour, ABC’s Countdown to Niagara: The Greatest Megastunts of All Time ranked #1 in Total Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54. The Countdown special generated ABC’s biggest summertime audience in the time slot in 6 years – since 6/23/06. From 9-11pm, ABC’s Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! ranked as Friday’s #1 TV program overall and dominated its time period competition, more than doubling the delivery of NBC’s 2-hour Dateline in Total Viewers (+119%), Adults 18-49 (+127%) and Adults 25-54 (+107%) in head-to-head competition. In fact, ABC’s Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! stood as the strongest non-sports summertime (Memorial Day-Labor Day) Friday telecast on the major networks since 2005 on all 3 Nielsen measures – since 9/2/05. Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! turned in ABC’s biggest audience in the 2-hour time period in more than 5-1/2 years – since 12/1/06. Building steadily throughout its telecast, the Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls – Live! shot up by 5.9 million viewers, by 106% in Adults 18-49 and by 120% in Adults 25-54 from its first half hour to its final half hour. The special drew massive numbers during its final half hour, pulling in 13.3 million viewers, a 3.5/12 in Adults 18-49 and a 4.4/13 in Adults 25-54 from 10:30-11pm.
Sunday: Featuring the 2012 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder, ABC shot to the top of Sunday night, leading runner-up NBC’s with its U.S. Open Golf coverage by 1.8 million viewers and once again topping the combined deliveries of CBS, NBC and Fox by double-digits in Adults 18-49 (+13%). In fact, the Net ranked #1 for the 3rd consecutive night with its telecast of the 2012 NBA Finals in Total Viewers and across all key Adult demos (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54). In viewers and young adults, ABC scored its biggest Sunday night since February, with its Academy Awards broadcast – since 2/26/12. Airing around the NBA Finals in various time periods across the country, Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night delivered wide exposure for the ABC late-night talker in prime. On average, JKL Game Night surged by 50% in Total Viewers and by 80% in Adults 18-49 over the show’s 2011-12 season averages in late night. Jimmy Kimmel Live Game Night 3 was up from its comparable telecast last year in both viewers (+8%) and young adults (+29%). With the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Miami Heat, ABC’s 2012 NBA Finals Game 3 overshadowed primetime to register as Sunday’s clear #1 TV show in Total Viewers and across each of the key Adult demographics. It was the 3rd straight evening for the 2012 NBA Finals to qualify as the #1 TV program. The Heat defeated the Thunder by a score of 91-85 to lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Among Adults 18-49, the first three games of the 2012 NBA Finals stand as the Top 3 highest-rated TV telecasts since the beginning of April – since 4/2/12. On average through 3 games, the 2012 NBA Finals is up year to year by 5% in Total Viewers and by 6% in Adults 18-49. The 2012 NBA Finals is putting up the series’ largest overall audience in 11 years and its top young adult number in 8 years – since 2001 and 2004, respectively.