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NBA Finals Ratings Fall 25 Percent

June 22, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ While Game 3 had the highest ratings of this year’s NBA Finals, it dropped 25 percent from last year’s broadcast on NBC.

The New York Knicks’ surprising victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 Monday night had a 12.1 rating and a 21 share, down from the 16.2 rating and 28 share for Game 3 of last year’s series between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz.

The three-game average is a 11.1/20, down 35 percent from last season’s 17.0/30, the highest three-game average in NBA history. It’s also 7 percent lower than the first three games in 1994 _ when Michael Jordan wasn’t involved in the entire season.

Game 1 this year got an 11.6 rating and Game 2 got a 9.6, the lowest prime-time rating for the NBA Finals since 1978, except for the night O.J. Simpson’s freeway chase distracted viewers during Game 5 of the Knicks-Rockets series in 1994. That game earned a 8.0 rating.

The rating is the percentage of TV households in the United States tuned to a program, and each point represents 994,000 homes. The share is the percentage tuned to a program among televisions in use at the time.

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