June 14, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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ABC’s coverage (ESPN on ABC) of Game 6 of the NBA Finals earned a very good 9.7 Adults 18-49 rating on Sunday.  About 24 million viewers 2+ saw the Dallas Mavericks win the championship, defeating the Miami Heat four games to two.  These are great numbers, and the other networks are glad the Finals are out of the way.  On to more normal summer reality schedules.
In other TV sports news, NBC will have Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup series Wednesday night between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks.  While a Game 7 in basketball would have earned a 12 demo rating or higher, the NHL Game 7 will be more moderately rated.  Monday night, Game 6 of the NHL series topped out at a 2.1 demo rating in the fast nationals.  The official nationals (which properly account for the Western 20% of the country that is not measured correctly in the fast nationals) will probably go up to a mid-2 rating, meaning Wednesday’s Game 7 could reach into the mid-3 rating.  If the series had featured two U.S. teams, the rating would easily well into 4+ rating range. 

A Game 7 is a fairly special event.  In professional sports (MLB, NBA and NHL) the final series usually go all the way to a seventh game about 20-25% of the time (or once very four or five years).  The winner-take-all nature of a final game (much closer to the format always present in the NFL playoffs) propels the “other” sports to their maximum potential.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."