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Lakers-Celtics Thriller Tops On TNT Since 1996

2/06/2009 6:07 PM Eastern

TNT was the beneficiary of tight battle between the 2008 NBA finalists last night, as the contest became the most-watched regular season game on the network in 13 years.
The Los Angeles Lakers' 110-109 overtime victory over the defending champion Boston Celtics dunked 4.3 million viewers on average, according to Nielsen Media Research data. That was the most on TNT since a battle between Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls and Magic Johnson's Lakers back on Feb. 2, 1996.
The Feb. 5 game, which earned a national 2.7 household rating, was the most-watched regular-season game on cable since ESPN's telecast of the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers on Christmas 2004.
Lakers-Celts also scored as the most-watched program on cable in total viewers Feb. 5 and with such key demos as males 18 to 34, men 18 to 49 and 25-54 for the night.
The game also delivered in the combatants' DMAs - collecting a 16.1 and 14.1 share in Boston and LA, respectively.
Through its first 31 games this season, TNT, which has exclusivity with its Thursday night doubleheaders, registered a 23% increase with viewers to a 1.75 million from 1.43 million last season.
The drama network also said it was ahead with an array of demos: 26% among adults 18 to 34; 28% among adults 18 to 49; 25% among adults 25 to 54; 20% among guys 18 to 34; 22% among men 18 to 49; and 19% with males 25 to 54.

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