NEW YORK -- The San Antonio Spurs are happy it took only five games to beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, but the same can't be said for ABC.
The series averaged 15.5 million viewers, topped by the 18 million who watched the Spurs' clinching game on Sunday, the Nielsen Co. said.
Overall, the series was down from the 17.7 million average for the 2013 series between the two teams. But last year's series went to the seven-game limit, with a memorable comeback from Miami in the sixth game. This year's five-game series averaged slightly higher than last year's series did through five games, Nielsen said.
The fifth and deciding game of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, shown Friday on NBC, had just over 6 million viewers.
It was a good week in prime time for news programming, with five of the 21 most-watched shows produced by the major network news divisions. By a narrow margin, Diane Sawyer's interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton on ABC beat a ``Dateline NBC'' remembrance of O.J. Simpson's car chase.
Basketball led ABC to an easy victory in prime time, where it averaged 7.8 million viewers last week. NBC had 5.1 million, CBS had 5 million, Univision had 3 million, Fox had 2.8 million, Telemundo had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.1 million and the CW had 950,000.
USA was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2 million viewers in prime time. The Disney Channel had 1.81 million, History had 1.77 million, Fox News Channel had 1.67 million and TNT had 1.62 million.
NBC's ``Nightly News'' topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.4 million viewers. ABC's ``World News'' was second with 7.3 million and the ``CBS Evening News'' had 6 million viewers.