NBA Finals games with the highest TV ratings of all time

With the advent of the internet and online streaming, TV ratings across the board are not what they once were.

Still, as followers of the NBA can attest to, it’s still fun to learn about which games still draw a ton of viewers in the traditional sense – on TV.

So with the 2022 NBA Finals on the brink of being decided, we decided to take a look at the NBA Finals games with the highest ratings in league history.

Spoiler alert: A lot of them involve His Airness, Michael Jordan.

Check out what we found below.

Source: SportsMediaWatch

1. Chicago vs. Utah: 1998 Finals, Game 6

Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 22.3
Viewers: 35.89 million
Score: Chicago 87, Utah 86

2. LA Lakers vs. Detroit: 1988 Finals, Game 7

Brian Drake/NBAE via Getty Images

Rating: 21.2
Score: LA Lakers 108, Detroit 105

3. Chicago vs. Phoenix: 1993 Finals, Game 6

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Rating: 20.3
Score: Chicago 99, Phoenix 98

4. Chicago vs. Utah: 1997 Finals, Game 5

Brian Bahr / Getty Images

Rating: 20.1
Viewers: 30.26 million
Score: Utah 88, Chicago 90

5. Chicago vs. Utah: 1998 Finals, Game 5

Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 19.8
Viewers: 30.59 million
Score: Chicago 81, Utah 83

5. Chicago vs. Phoenix: 1993 Finals, Game 4

Rating: 19.8
Score: Chicago 111, Phoenix 105

7. Chicago vs. LA Lakers: 1991 Finals, Game 5

Mike Powell

Rating: 19.7
Score: Chicago 108, LA Lakers 101

8. Chicago vs. Utah: 1998 Finals, Game 4

Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

Rating: 19.1
Viewers: 28.79 million
Score: Chicago 86, Utah 82

9. Chicago vs. Phoenix: 1993 Finals, Game 5

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Rating: 19.0
Score: Chicago 98, Phoenix 108

10. Chicago vs. Seattle: 1996 Finals, Game 6

BRIAN BAHR/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 18.8
Score: Chicago 87, Seattle 75

11. Chicago vs. Utah: 1997 Finals, Game 6

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 18.5
Viewers: 28.70 million
Score: Chicago 90, Utah 86

12. Chicago vs. Seattle: 1996 Finals, Game 4

DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 18.1
Score: Seattle 107, Chicago 86

13. Chicago vs. Utah: 1998 Finals, Game 1

PETE PAWINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 18.0
Viewers: 26.68 million
Score: Utah 88, Chicago 85

14. New York vs. Houston: 1994 Finals, Game 7

Allsport

Rating: 17.9
Score: Houston 90, New York 84

15. Detroit vs. LA Lakers: 1989 Finals, Game 4

MPS-USA TODAY Sports

Rating: 17.4
Score: Detroit 105, LA Lakers 97

16. Chicago vs. Seattle: 1996 Finals, Game 5

Rating: 17.2
Score: Seattle 89, Chicago 78

17. Chicago vs. Phoenix: 1993 Finals, Game 3

USA TODAY Sports

Rating: 17.0
Score: Phoenix 129, Chicago 121 (Triple overtime)

18. Chicago vs. Utah: 1997 Finals, Game 4

Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 16.9
Viewers: 26.36 million
Score: Utah 78, Chicago 73

19. Chicago vs. Seattle: 1996 Finals, Game 1

Rating: 16.8
Score: Chicago 107, Seattle 90

19. Chicago vs. Phoenix: 1993 Finals, Game 1

USA TODAY Sports

Rating: 16.8
Score: Chicago 100, Phoenix 92

21. Chicago vs. Utah: 1998 Finals, Game 2

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 16.6
Viewers: 26.30 million
Score: Utah 88, Chicago 93

22. Chicago vs. Utah: 1998 Finals, Game 3

JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 16.2
Viewers: 25.70 million
Score: Chicago 96, Utah 54

23. Chicago vs. LA Lakers: 1991 Finals, Game 2

Allsport

Rating: 16.1
Score: Chicago 107, LA Lakers 86

23. LA Lakers vs. Detroit: 1988 Finals, Game 5

MPS-USA TODAY Sports

Rating: 16.1
Score: Detroit 104, LA Lakers 94

25. Golden State vs. Cleveland: 2016 Finals, Game 7

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rating: 15.8
Viewers: 31.02 million
Score: Golden State 89, Cleveland 93

25. Chicago vs. Utah: 1997 Finals, Game 1

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Rating: 15.8
Viewers: 24.71 million
Score: Chicago 84, Utah 82

25. Chicago vs. Seattle: 1996 Finals, Game 3

BRIAN BAHR/AFP via Getty Images)

Rating: 15.8
Score: Seattle 86, Chicago 108

28. Chicago vs. LA Lakers: 1991 Finals, Game 3

Mike Powell /Allsport

Rating: 15.7
Score: LA Lakers 96, Chicago 104

29. LA Lakers vs. Boston: 2010 Finals, Game 7

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Rating: 15.6
Viewers: 28.20 million
Score: LA Lakers 83, Boston 79

30. Miami vs. San Antonio: 2013 Finals, Game 7

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Rating: 15.3
Viewers: 26.32 million
Score: Miami 95, San Antonio 88

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