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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., June 12-14) -- Game 5 of NBA Finals dominates but drops off

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Golden State Warriors again whipped the Cleveland Cavaliers by double digits Sunday night while taking a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

Running until 9:49 p.m., the 104-91 Warriors win on ABC crushed all competing prime-time attractions but fell short of Game 4’s high points. Game 5 averaged 474,232 D-FW viewers, down from Thursday night’s 488,180. Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, Game 5 had 236,535 compared to Game 4’s 268,073. All five games have drawn more than half their audiences from this key demographic.

The D-FW Nielsens for HBO’s death-drenched Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones were not immediately available. But the series’ pulling power among younger males likely put at least a bit of a crimp in the 8 to 9 p.m. portion of the game, which included halftime.

On Sunday afternoon, TCU routed LSU 10-3 in both teams’ College World Series debuts while the Texas Rangers lost 4-3 to Minnesota. The CWS start time was delayed a little more than a half-hour by rain. The game ended up averaging 69,740 total viewers on ESPN while the Rangers drew 104,610 on Fox Sports Southwest.

Saturday afternoon’s Rangers win averaged 83,688 total viewers on FSS. And the Friday night game on FSS, also won by Texas, pulled in 90,662 total viewers. Those are ratings slumps compared to the averages for recent games. But afternoon starts generally tend to deflate viewer totals. And the Twins are not a marquee attraction.

Friday’s highest prime-time scorers were ABC’s What Would You Do? in total viewers (167,376) and Fox’s USA-Sweden World Cup soccer match among 18-to-49-year-olds (63,076).

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

Gannett8 won comfortably in total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 narrowly prevailed among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 rolled out another pair of twin wins at 6 a.m. and NBC5 ran the table at 6 p.m. The Peacock also had the most total viewers at 5 p.m., but shared the 25-to-54 gold with Fox4.

ALSO OF NOTE: Saturday morning’s local news numbers were inflated by live, continuous coverage of the aftermath of an attack on the Dallas downtown police department offices by a lone gunman who ended up dead. The ratings began adding up between 7 and 9 a.m., when the potential viewing pool climbed upward and out of bed.

Here’s how the four major TV news providers fared in total viewers during those two hours.

NBC5 -- 119,255
Fox4 -- 108,097
Gannett8 -- 86,478
CBS11 -- 41,844

Fox4 cut away to infomercials at 9 a.m. and saw its audience crater to 52,305 viewers from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and 14,645 viewers from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

CBS11 mostly aired pet shows during that hour, and saw its audience go up compared to the station’s preceding news coverage. Lucky Dog had 70,437 viewers from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and Dr. Chris, Pet Vet drew 57,884 viewers from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

That left NBC5 and Gannett8 with continuous news coverage in that hour before both stations went to regularly scheduled programming at 10 a.m. NBC5 won that battle, drawing 132,506 viewers to Gannett8’s 114,374. The assailant was still at large during that hour.

From this perspective, Gannett8 had the best overall coverage, with main anchor John McCaa making an exceedingly rare Saturday morning appearance to lead the way. In contrast, Fox4 in particular fumbled badly by yielding to a pair of pre-paid half-hour infomercials. The station’s audience reacted accordingly by increasingly tuning out in each 15-minute segment.

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