The NBA finals series between Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers on NBC is the league's highest rated finals series since Michael Jordan's swansong three years ago.
The national Nielsen rating for Sunday's third game in the series scored a 12.7 rating, 22 share in households, with an estimated 42 million viewers tuning in for at least part of the game. That's a 20% increase from last year's third game between the Lakers and the Indiana Pacers. The three-game average for the Lakers-Sixers series stands at 12.3/22, an 18% jump from the 10.4/18 the Lakers-Pacers series averaged through three games last year. Jordan's last appearance in an NBA finals series averaged a 17.0/30 in 1998.
Among male viewers aged 18-49, the Lakers-Sixers series is averaging an 11.1, 34% better than the 8.3 for that demo at this point last year. Among men 25-54, the average was 11.5, a 29% improvement over last year's 8.9 average at the same stage. - Richard Tedesco