While the 2004 Finals showed improvement for ABC, the 2005 Finals sank back towards record-low levels. The series between the previous two champions, the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs, was widely panned by the media as a slow, boring, defensive-minded series without any captivating stars.
While games 1, 3 and 4 had at least a 7.0 rating (on a Thursday, Tuesday and another Thursday respectively), Game 2 (on a Sunday night) fell to a 6.9. Games 5, 6 and 7 of the series stemmed the tide, with each game getting progressively higher ratings. All three games scored double-digit overnight ratings, and Game 7 achieved the only double-digit final rating of the series, an 11.9. The rating was only ABC's fifth double-digit final rating ever in covering the NBA; NBC had six double-digit ratings alone in 2002. The rating would also go down as one of the lowest ever ratings for a major sport championship Game 7 (joining several Stanley Cup Final game sevens). Overall, ratings for the series averaged an 8.2, the second-lowest average in league history.