NBA Helps TNT Win the Week


With an assist from its coverage of the National Basketball Association’s opening playoffs round, Turner Network Television set the basic-cable primetime pace last week.

The drama network, receiving a particular boost from the Western Conference matchup between the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, averaged a 2.3 household rating from April 25 through May 1, according to a Disney ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

That performance gave TNT a 0.4-point edge over Nick at Nite and a 0.5-point advantage over third-place USA Network. Disney Channel was fourth, registering a 1.7, while Lifetime Television and Cartoon Network were knotted in fifth, both with a 1.5 mark.

Rounding out the top 10: Fox News Channel with a 1.4; Spike TV and TBS, with a 1.2 apiece; and ESPN and MTV, each with a 1.1 average for the period.

Measured on a total-programming day basis, Nickelodeon was first with a 1.8, topping the 1.5 produced by sister, channel-sharing service Nick at Nite. A trio of Turner networks was next: TNT with a 1.3; Cartoon with a 1.2; and its late-night spin-off Adult Swim with a 1.1. Disney Channel also scored a 1.1 household mark to grab a share of fifth place, according to the Nielsen data.

On a household basis, Turner South’s coverage of the April 26 Atlanta Braves-New York Mets Major League Baseball notched a 4.6 household mark within the regional network’s universe, the best in basic cable for the week.

Spike TV pinned the next two spots with its presentation of WWE’s Raw franchise on April 25. Installments of Nick’s SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents claimed the next nine positions.

TNT’s highest-rated playoff game for the week was the April 29 Mavs-Rockets match-up, which netted a 2.9 to rank No. 13 overall. The drama network also dunked a 2.8 for the Texas tilt on April 25 and a 2.7 for that series on April 30, while the Miami Heat-New Jersey Nets game on April 28 matched the latter Nielsen entry. ESPN’s highest-rated playoff game was the May 1’s Sunday matinee affair between the Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers, which scored a 2.6.