The answer: This popular game show drew more viewers in Philadelphia than Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
On 6ABC Thursday, the NBA Finals drew a 10.1 household rating (about 284,501 homes) and an 18 share, which are both down 24 percent from last year’s Game 1 between the Warriors and the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite the decline, the game still easily outdrew the Phillies’ Thursday afternoon loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on NBC Sports Philadelphia, which garnered a 3.2 household rating (and featured analyst John Kruk enjoying a rack of sloppy ribs).
Jeopardy!, which aired at 7 p.m. on 6ABC, drew a 12.3 household rating (about 346,472 homes) and pulled in a 23 share, thanks to Holzhauer’s winning streak, now at 31 games. Holzhauer sailed to an easy win Thursday, taking home $58,612 and increasing his total winnings to $2,382,583, less than $150,000 away from Ken Jennings’ total of $2,520,700 (which he won over 74 games).
Despite the easy win, the self-proclaimed baseball fan missed a $600 clue under the Babe Ruth-theme category “Childish Bambino." Holzhauer incorrectly answered that the famed New York Yankees slugger had once been a manager before losing his leadership position for going after a fan in the stands.
“He was captain,” host Alex Trebek responded.
There was also a funny moment during Thursday’s show when Trebek apologized for mispronouncing Newark, Del., home of one of Holzhauer’s challengers.
“My apologies to the people of New-ARK, Delaware,” Trebek said, owning up to having pronounced it “New-erk" earlier in the show. “I moved you into New Jersey. Sorry about that.”
Game 1 of the NBA Finals did draw higher ratings than Jeopardy! on 6ABC among certain demographics, however, such as adults 25 to 54 and men 25 to 54.
Nationally, the game delivered a 10.1 overnight rating, the lowest for an NBA Finals opener in 10 years. According to Paulsen at Sports Media Watch, Game 1 was down nationally 18 percent from last year and 19 percent from 2017, but the low rating was due in part to the Raptors’ Canadian viewers not being tracked by Nielsen. In fact, Paulsen thinks Canadian viewership might make up the ratings shortfall nationally.