Going into Game 3 tomorrow, the 2022 NBA Finals right now is a dead heat, with one win in pocket for rivals the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics.
Steph Curry and the Bay Area’s best brought some serious heat and gravity defying skills in a home court match-up with Marcus Smart and the Boston boys on Sunday. Pulling off a 107-88 victory, the Warriors may clinch the advantage in Boston on Wednesday or suffer being in enemy territory and see the Celtics takes the lead in the series.
Either way, the real edge may be in the ratings.
Right now, the first two games of this year’s NBA Final is looking a lot like a case of double vision.
With the final numbers now in for the June 5 b-ball battle, ABC snagged 11.91 million viewer for Game 2. That a very small bump up from what the hometown Celtics 120-108 winning Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals pulled in on June 2. Add the ESPN2 coverage of Game 1 to ABC’s 11.4 million viewers and the 11.9 million total is the same as Game 2’s haul.
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Unsurprisingly, the 2022 Game 2 was up double digits from the July played Game 2 of the pandemic protocol dominated 2021 NBA Finals. However, as much as the 27% leap from last year looks good on the spreadsheet, the fact is apples to pre-pandemic apples, the NBA Finals is stumbling.
The second match-up of the 2019 NBA Final between the Warriors and a hometown playing Toronto Raptors on June 2 of that year had 13.9 million viewers watching on ABC. A double digit drop from 2018 and with only one U.S. market literally in the game for the first time in NBA history, that 2019 game between the multi-champions Warriors and the Finals winning Raptors bested Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals by almost 17% in sets of eyeballs.
Perhaps more telling, 2019’s Game 2 beat the 3.71 rating among adults 18-49 of 2022’s Game 2 by a whopping 29%.
Which kinda makes the stakes of tomorrow’s primetime Game 3 even higher on and off the court.
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