The Milwaukee Bucks appearance and victory in the NBA Finals provided a huge ratings boost for WISN-TV Channel 12, Milwaukee's ABC affiliate.
ABC has broadcast the NBA Finals every year since 2003, but this was the Bucks' first appearance since 1974 and first NBA championship since 1971.
The 2021 NBA Finals drew the top eight television audiences in southeastern Wisconsin in July, according to WISN-TV, citing the latest Nielsen data. The best local rating for the NBA Finals was the Bucks Game 6 victory on Tuesday, July 20, to win the series, with a 41.5 local rating and 345,953 household impressions.
The postgame trophy ceremony was the second highest locally rated television program for the month, with a 37.1 rating and 309,428 household impressions.
Here's a breakdown of the local TV ratings for the NBA Finals on Channel 12:
Game 1 (Tuesday, July 6): 23.9 rating, 198,861 household impressions
Game 2 (Thursday, July 8): 24.2 rating, 201,282 household impressions
Game 3 (Sunday, July 11): 27.2 rating, 226,529 household impressions
Game 4 (Wednesday, July 14): 29.6 rating, 246,329 household impressions
Game 5 (Saturday, July 17): 28.8 rating, 239,662 household impressions
Game 6 (Tuesday, July 20): 41.5 rating, 345,953 household impressions
The Game 6 audience was the largest southeastern Wisconsin television audience since the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, which drew a 46.2 rating and 384,541 household impressions on Milwaukee CBS affiliate WDJT-TV Channel 58, according to WISN-TV Channel 12.
Nationally, the NBA Finals had an average rating of 5.2 and had a rating of 6.6 for Game 6. The average rating was an improvement from the 2020 NBA Finals, but was lower than in previous years.
WISN-TV Channel 12 is a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.