Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

The most-watched NBA Finals Game 6 since 2011 and time slot victories by the premieres of the newest versions of “BattleBots” and “Celebrity Family Feud” helped give ABC its third consecutive first-place finish in the weekly prime-time ratings race.

The Golden State Warriors’ title-clinching 105-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 16 averaged 23.25 million viewers. It was the largest audience for any prime-time program since April 6, when the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship game on CBS averaged 28.26 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released today by Nielsen.

The series averaged 19.9 million viewers, the most since the 1998 Finals which aired on NBC and marked Michael Jordan’s last Finals appearance.

“Celebrity Family Feud” finished third among prime-time broadcast and cable programs that aired between June 15 and Sunday. Sunday’s premiere averaged 8.66 million viewers, third for the week behind Game 6 of the NBA Finals and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” which was second with 10.18 million viewers.

“Celebrity Family Feud” was also third for the week among viewers ages 18-49, behind the sixth games of the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Final, which aired on NBC.

ABC, Fox and NBC target 18- to 49-year-old viewers, who are coveted by advertisers because they watch less television and are harder to reach.

The premiere of “BattleBots,” which followed “Celebrity Family Feud,” averaged 5.44 million viewers, finishing first in its Sunday 9-10 p.m. time slot and 19th for the week.

Unlike most premieres “Celebrity Family Feud” and “BattleBots” were both based on previous series. “Family Feud” has been on television on and off since 1976, including a prime-time celebrity version that ran on NBC in 2008. “BattleBots” originally ran on cable’s Comedy Central from 2000-02.

ABC’s other premiere of the week, “The Astronaut Wives Club,” averaged 5.51 million viewers, finishing second in its Thursday 8-9 p.m. time slot behind reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Odd Couple,” and 16th for the week.

The “The Astronaut Wives Club” was third in viewership among the three dramas to have premiered since the start of television’s summer season on May 21, behind NBC’s two-hour premiere of “Aquarius” (5.67 million) and ABC’s “The Whispers” (5.66 million). Both “Aquarius” and “The Whispers” had the benefit of following network programming.

ABC averaged 6 million viewers for its prime-time programming for the week. Fox was second, averaging 4.92 million, followed by CBS (4.9 million) and NBC (4.51 million).

Fox benefited from the three-hour, 46-minute runover into prime time of its coverage of Sunday’s final round of golf’s U.S. Open, which averaged 8.7 million viewers.

Fox’s most-watched show was the U.S.-Nigeria FIFA Women’s World Cup game, which was 25th for the week, averaging 5.04 million viewers.

The TNT crime drama “Rizzoli & Isles” was the week’s most-watched cable program, averaging 4.39 million viewers, putting it 34th among all broadcast and cable programs.

Disney Channel was the most-watched cable network, averaging 1.79 million, with TNT second, averaging 1.76 million.

The week’s most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Thursday episode of the Univision telenovela “Que Te Perdone Dios,” which averaged 2.79 million viewers, 71st among all broadcast and cable programs.

As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 2.14 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.13 million, followed by UniMas (510,000), MundoFox (170,000), Estrella TV (160,000) and Azteca America (60,000).

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast after finishing second behind the “NBC Nightly News” the previous week.

“World News Tonight” averaged 7.92 million viewers, followed by the “NBC Nightly News” (7.54 million) and the “CBS Evening News” (6.87 million).

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were ABC’s coverage of Game 6 of the NBA Finals; NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; ABC’s “Celebrity Family Feud”; NBC’s coverage of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final; CBS’ “NCIS”; ABC’s “20/20”; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”; ABC’s 29-minute “NBA Countdown” pregame show; the Thursday edition of “Dateline NBC”; and ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”

— Wire reports

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