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Prime-Time TV Rankings

NBA Finals Separate NBC From the Also-Rans

June 11, 1997|LEE MARGULIES

With reruns the order of the day in most of prime time, the NBA Finals stood out in the ratings last week. Figures released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research showed that only one other program, a rerun of 'Seinfeld," cracked the 20-million-viewer mark.

After the Utah Jazz, led by John Stockton and Karl Malone, demonstrated in Game 3 last Friday that the Chicago Bulls were not simply going to waltz to another championship, viewership for Game 4 on Sunday jumped to nearly 26.4 million--making it the most-watched program of the week.

And that was good news for NBC, which rolled over its network rivals in the weekly ratings competition with 13 of the top 20 programs--and all 10 of the top 10 among viewers ages 18 to 49. ABC had the top-rated newsmagazine in "20/20" and CBS had the top-rated movie in Sunday's "Our Son, the Matchmaker," a repeat.

The first four games of the NBA championship have averaged virtually the identical audience as last year's first four games between Chicago and Seattle, NBC reported.


Network Averages

Here is the number of viewers that each network averaged per hour of prime time, for last week and for the season.

Last Week

NBC 14.66 million

CBS 10.43

ABC 8.74

FOX 7.41

UPN 3.62

WB 3.16

Season to Date

NBC 15.08 million

CBS 13.58

ABC 13.18

FOX 11.32

UPN 4.42

WB 3.57


Southland Viewing

Here are Nielsen's Top 10 prime-time programs in the Los Angeles area during the same week. The rankings are based on the number of households watching.


Program Station Households 1. Seinfeld KNBC 771,021 2. Touched by an Angel KCBS 647,460 3. Home Improvement KABC 637,575 4. "Tombstone" KTTV 612,863 5. 60 Minutes KCBS 602,978 6. 20/20 KABC 588,150 7. Friends KNBC 573,323 8. "Roggin's Post Game" KNBC 563,438 The Simpsons KTTV 563,438 10. Spin City KABC 548,611


Source: Nielsen Media Research

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