ESPN Dunks Weekly Ratings Top Spot


ESPN and TNT got their ratings game on last week as their respective NBA playoff coverage helped them finish as the top two most-watched cable networks.

ESPN averaged a 2.4 household rating in prime time during the week of May 26 through June 1—besting TNT’s 2.2 rating to finish first among all cable networks, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Both networks benefited from their respective NBA playoff coverage—TNT’s live telecasts of Games Four and Five of the Los Angeles Lakers-San Antonio Spurs Western Conference finals telecasts finished as the two most-watched telecasts for the week while ESPN’s coverage of Games Six, Five and Four, respectively, of the Boston Celtics-Detroit Pistons Eastern Conference finals rounded out the week’s top five most-viewed programs.

USA Network, bolstered by the 5.2 million viewers who tuned into the June 1 premiere of its new original series In Plain Sight, finished third with a 2.1 rating. A&E, helped by a combined 9.7 million viewers watching its June 2-3 two-part original movie series The Andromeda Strain, finished tied with Disney Channel for fourth place with a 1.7 rating.

Nick at Nite (1.5 rating); Hallmark (1.4); and Lifetime, TBS and Fox News Network (tied with a 1.3) rounded out the Top 10 most-watched networks for the week, according to Nielsen.