Ratings Roundup: Mavericks Clincher in NBA Finals Hits 13-Year Viewership High

The Maverick’s championship-clinching Game 6 victory in the NBA Finals on ABC Sunday night averaged 23,511,000 viewers and a 13.1 rating to become the most-viewed Game 6 ever on ABC, and the most-viewed in 13 years (according to Nielson fast nationals). It was the 25th consecutive time The Finals have generated the highest-rated program of the night…

…Overall, ABC’s coverage of the series averaged 17.28 million viewers and a 10.1 rating for six broadcasts slightly trailing last year’s seven-game series between the Celtics and Lakers (18.14 million viewers, 10.6 rating), but still the second most viewed Finals since 2004 (Lakers-Pistons five-game series: 17.94 million viewers, 11.5 rating). The series is actually up 5% in viewership (vs. 16.43 million viewers) and 4% in rating (vs. 9.7) over the first six games of last year’s Celtics/Lakers series. This year’s six-game series was up 33% in viewership (vs. 12.97 million) and 20% in rating (vs. 8.5) compared to the 2006 Finals, when these same two teams met in a six-game series.

…Locally, Game 6 netted the highest-rated metered market rating ever for an NBA game in both teams’ markets (records through 2002-03) with a 39.8 in Dallas and a 36.2 in Miami, according to Nielsen overnights…

…NBC Sports first broadcast of the Belmont Stakes since 2005 drew 6.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched Belmont in a non-Triple Crown year since NBC last broadcast the Belmont in 2005. The Belmont earned a national household rating of 4.3/10, up 43% from last year (3.0/7 on ABC) and just off the 2009 rating of 4.4/11. The audience was 44% higher than last year on ABC (4.7 million) and the most in a non-Triple Crown year since NBC last broadcast the Belmont in 2005 (7.7 million). The 6.8 million viewers ties 2001 as the second most-watched Belmont race in a non-Triple Crown year since at least 1994…

…The pre-race (5-6:08 p.m. ET) on Versus drew 3.4 million viewers, up 81% over last year’s pre-race on ABC (1.9 million viewers), and the most for a non-Triple Crown year since 2006 (3.8 million on ABC)…

…The sixth game of the Canucks-Bruins Stanley Cup Finals series earned a 3.9 overnight rating on NBC Monday night, down 33% from last year’s 36-year high (Blackhawks-Flyers Game 6: 5.8). Last year’s Game 6 aired on a Wednesday night and was the highest rated NHL game in the metered markets since 1974. The 3.9 overnight is the lowest for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final since 2006 (Hurricanes-Oilers Game 6: 2.2), the last time a Canadian team played in a Game 6.