TV Ratings: CBS' Tony Awards can't top ABC's huge NBA Finals clincher on Sunday
Actually, the Tonys can't even top FOX repeats with young viewers
ABC got huge ratings for for the sixth and concluding game of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, easily the biggest audience of the series between the Mavericks and Heat. Facing that level of competition, CBS coverage of the Tony Awards never really had a chance (though CBS is boasting that the telecast was up by 9 percent [i.e. 0.1] in the key demo).
Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 7.3 rating for the night, easily tops in the key demographic. FOX's 1.4 rating was good for second, with CBS' 1.1 rating and the 1.0 rating for NBC following.
Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 17.97 million viewers and a 10.1 rating/17 share. CBS was a distant second with a 4.8/8 and 7.49 million viewers. NBC's 2.4/4 and 4.13 million viewers beat FOX's 1.7/3 and 3.05 million viewers.
[A reminder: As always in the case of live events, Fast National data is time-period specific and not program specific. So any and all numbers are reflective of the hour of primetime viewership and not necessarily of how many people are watching the live event, specifically the NBC Finals.]
7 p.m. - CBS started primetime in first overall with nearly 9.2 million viewers for "60 Minutes." ABC's pre-game coverage (and the game itself on the left side of the country) averaged 8.67 million viewers for second and won the hour with a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "Dateline" was third with 3.82 million viewers, with FOX's "American Dad" and "Bob's Burgers" in fourth with 2.18 million viewers.
8 p.m. - ABC zoomed into first for the 8 p.m. hour with 17.36 million viewers and a 6.8 key demo rating for the start of the Heat-Mavericks showdown. CBS' Tony Awards coverage started with 7.79 million viewers for second and a 1.3 demo rating for third. NBC was well back in third overall with 3.19 million viewers for "Minute to Win It" and fourth for the hour in the key demo. FOX's "The Simpsons" and "The Cleveland Show" finished fourth overall with 3.06 million viewers and finished second in the key demo with a 1.4 rating. Yes, that would have the Tonys losing to animation repeats with young viewers.
9 p.m. - The NBA Finals game improved to 21.14 million viewers and an 8.5 rating among adults 18-49 for ABC's 9 p.m. hour coverage. CBS' Tony Awards show slipped to 7.01 million viewers for second and a 1.2 key demo rating for third. NBC's repeat of "America's Got Talent" averaged 4.39 million viewers to take third overall and tied with CBS in the demo. FOX was fourth overall for the hour with 3.91 million viewers for "Family Guy" and "American Dad," but easily took second with a 1.9 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - The basketball game kept improving in the 10 p.m. hour, giving ABC 24.71 million viewers and a 10.5 demo rating. CBS' Tonys telecast slipped to 5.96 million viewers and a 1.0 demo rating. NBC's "America's Got Talent" repeat averaged 5.13 million viewers and a 1.5 rating in the key demo.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.