NEW YORK: Not only did LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers make the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, they broke viewership, social media and souvenir sales records as well.
The NBA announced Tuesday that the epic seven-game series was America’s most watched NBA championship final since 1998, when Michael Jordan won the last of his six career crowns, as well as the most-viewed NBA game ever on digital platforms in China.
US telecaster ABC averaged 20.215 million viewers a game, its best-ever figures, with the thrilling seventh-game trophy showdown luring an average of 31.018 million viewers, peaking at 44.807 million viewers to become the third-most-watched NBA game on record.
In China, an NBA Finals-record 65.9 million total viewers watched the series live on Tencent’s digital assets, with game seven’s 15.3 million viewers a record for any NBA game in China on digital platforms.
Across social media, the NBA Finals sparked a record 5.2 billion impressions and 800 million video views.
Game seven of the finals induced 337,000 Twitter postings a minute, the top-tweeted moment in finals history and most-tweeted US sports moment so far this year.
The Cavaliers-Warriors showdown was the most-talked about NBA Finals ever on Facebook, with a record 43 million people posting, liking, sharing and commenting more than 269 million times.
On Vine, the NBA ranked number one last week among all accounts with 76.5 million loops.
NBA.com and the NBA App recorded a record 1.9 billion page views and 1.4 billion video views, eclipsing the respective previous records of 1.1 billion and 400 million set during last year’s NBA Finals.
A free NBA emoji app unveiled during the finals ranked first in the sports section of the App Store and NBA Finals-related emojis were used more than 800,000 times.
On Monday, the day the Cavaliers landed back in Cleveland and were greeted by 20,000 fans at the airport, the NBA’s online store had its highest sales day in history, breaking last year’s record. The online store generated record breaking merchandise sales up almost 50 percent from last year’s record totals.
The Cavaliers’ NBA Champions Locker Room T-shirt was the top-selling item on NBAStore.com and set records for such items.