Michael Jackson's interview with Diane Sawyer didn't pull the kind of ratings he racked up in his 1993 appearance with Oprah Winfrey, but he scored a decisive victory over the NBA.
Jackson's appearance on "PrimeTime Live" Wednesday night was seen in about 24.7 million homes, according to figures released Thursday by the A.C. Nielsen Co. NBC's coverage of what turned out to be the Houston Rockets' title-clinching game against Orlando drew viewers in about 13.5 million homes during that hour--slightly less than for Game 1 but about the same as for Game 2.
"PrimeTime Live" did even better in the Los Angeles market, where, because of the time difference, it aired after the basketball game was over. Here it attracted 53% of the available viewers, compared to 42% nationally.
ABC estimated that 60 million people watched at least part of the Jackson interview, compared to about 90 million who tuned in for the 1993 session with Winfrey.