Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Spurs and Heat drew 14.2 million viewers, easily winning the television ratings for the night for ABC.
But that number is off 12 percent from last season when the Heat were playing the Oklahoma City Thunder (that drew 16.2 million), and it is down slightly from the 2011 finals when the Heat faced the Dallas Mavericks (15.2 million).
However, the game’s ratings did beat the six years before that, going back to 2004 and the Shaq/Kobe Lakers.
Why the decrease? Well, the Spurs have just never been a big national draw, for one. Also, there may be some fatigue with the Heat — a lot of people tuned in to root against LeBron James and Miami, but that seems to be tempered since they won last year.
Ratings for games generally climb throughout a series. Game 1 of these finals was very entertaining so we may see a big jump.