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ABC scores with NBA Finals rating

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, center, fought for the ball between Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut, left, and forward Draymond Green during the first half of Game 1 on Thursday. (John G. Mabanglo / Associated Press)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, center, fought for the ball between Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut, left, and forward Draymond Green during the first half of Game 1 on Thursday. (John G. Mabanglo / Associated Press)
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. – Game 1 of the NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland was the most-watched and highest-rated opening game on ABC, with 19.2 million people tuning in for an 11.1 U.S. household rating.

Nielsen said ABC eclipsed the previous viewership high of 17,768,000 by 8 percent, a mark set last year between the two teams. The viewership number was the biggest for a Game 1 on any network since 1998. The game peaked from 7:45-8 p.m. PDT with 22,610,000 viewers and a 12.9 rating.

Game 1 was the most-watched NBA game on WatchESPN with an average minute audience of 347,000. ESPN drew an 0.6 Hispanic household rating with 124,000 total viewers, making it the most-watched and highest-rated Game 1 ever on the network.

In overnight ratings, the game delivered a 36.0 rating in Cleveland and 32.8 in San Francisco. Ratings represent the percentage of U.S. homes with televisions tuned to a program.

Game 2 is on Sunday in Oakland.

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