TNT Ratings Reach Record High for NBA Playoffs

by April 19, 2011

The wildly entertaining start to this year’s NBA Playoffs brought smiles to the execs at TNT, reports Sports Media Watch: “TNT averaged a 2.8 U.S. rating and 4.542 million viewers for NBA Playoff coverage on Sunday, up 27% in ratings and 36% in viewership from last year (2.2, 3.336M), and the most-viewed opening day of the playoffs ever on Turner Sports. In particular, Sunday’s Knicks/Celtics Game 1 drew a 3.6 U.S. rating and 5.989 million viewers, up 44% in ratings and 53% in viewership from last year (SA/DAL G1: 2.5, 3.925M), and up 64% and 86%, respectively, from 2009 (MIA/ATL G1: 2.2, 3.228M). The Celtics’ win drew more viewers than every single first round playoff game — on broadcast or cable — last season. In addition, the game ranks as the second-most viewed first round game ever on cable, behind only Bulls/Celtics Game 7 in 2009 (6.987M). The previous second-ranked game was Celtics/Bulls Game 6 in 2009 (5.352M). Later in the night, Game 1 between the Nuggets and Thunder drew a 3.1 and 5.038 million viewers, up 55% in ratings and 69% in viewership from last year (POR/PHX G1: 2.0, 2.988M), and up 55% and 83%, respectively, from 2009 (NO/DEN: 2.0, 2.756M). Though it did not receive as much hype as Knicks/Celtics, Nuggets/Thunder drew more viewers than every single first round game on cable last year.”