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NBA Finals are most-watched through 4 games since 1998

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NBA Finals are most-watched through 4 games since 1998

The Cleveland Cavaliers kept their season alive, dominating the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, with ABC (US) scoring a 15% increase in total live audience from the comparable contest in 2016.

The June 9 matchup, in which the Cavaliers cut the series deficit to 3-1, netted a total live audience — linear TV, plus average minute streaming audience — of nearly 19.4 million viewers, according to Fast Nationals data from Nielsen Holdings. That represented a 15% jump from 16.9 million watchers for the fourth game of the 2016 championship series between the same clubs, which also met in the 2015 Finals.

Game 4 averaged just over 19 million viewers on ABC, with Cleveland's 137-116 rout also attracting an average minute streaming audience of 375,000 viewers. The telecast peaked on ABC with almost 22.5 million watchers in the 11 p.m. ET half hour.

Through four games, the NBA Finals has averaged a total live audience of 19.8 million viewers, a 12% gain from 17.7 million in 2016 and the most for pro basketball's championship round since 1998, when the title series aired on NBC (US). ABC has averaged 19.4 million watchers, plus an average minute streaming audience of 408,000 viewers.

With the defending champion Cavaliers staving off elimination, ABC will air at least one more game, on Monday, June 12 at 9 p.m. EDT from Oracle Arena in Oakland, where the Warriors look to win the championship before their home crowd.