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ABC records highest rating for NBA Finals game 1 in network history

A compelling rematch between two of the Association's top players results in big viewership ratings for ABC

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are the most captivating team in basketball since Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. As the Dubs look to cap off the greatest NBA season of all time with their second consecutive championship, Americans can't help but tune in to see how history unfolds.

Per RealGM:

"Game 1 of the NBA Finals was ABC's highest-rated Game 1 since they began broadcasting the event in 2003.

The game had a 13.1 overnight rating up from 12.9 for Game 1 last season."

ABC isn't the only network benefiting from the Warriors run at history. TNT also saw record ratings in their telecast of game 7 in the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder.

As the landscape of television continues to evolve alongside the ever changing field of technology, live sports are seen as one of the most lucrative and beneficial programs for network television heavyweights to broadcast.

As Kevin Draper of DeadSpin explains:

"Ratings across television have been declining for a variety of reasons: DVRs, internet streaming, more channels, cord cutting.

But ratings for live sports have remained largely immune to this trend, staying flat or even rising in some cases. It has often been said that live sports are the last bits of appointment TV around, and television networks are paying megabucks for it."

So what kind of megabucks are we talking here?

Well, in 2007 ESPN and Turner Sports agreed to pay the NBA $930 million annually to broadcast their games live according to Draper. However, with the NBA's new TV deal set to take place next season, ESPN and Turner will be paying the league around $2.4 billion a year to broadcast games. That's a 180% league revenue increase, which plays a huge part into the rising salary cap in the coming years.

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