Heat/Spurs Game 7 draws big ratings for ABC

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After a slow start, America came around to watching one of the best series finals we have seen in a long time.

Thursday night’s Game 7 drew 26.3 million viewers — the second most ever for an ABC televised game. The only game that had more viewers was Game 7 of the 2010 Finals between the Celtics and Lakers.

Through the first five games this season, viewing numbers were down compared to the Finals in 2012 between the Heat and Thunder. However, that series only went 5 games, so with big crowds watching Games 6 and 7 this year’s series averaged 17.7 million viewers per game up, five percent on average from last season.

Next year conspiracy theorist fans can say it is Adam Silver that has the referees under his thumb and is manipulating series to go seven games for ratings reasons. They will not have David Stern to kick around any more.