NBA Playoffs Drive TNT


With an assist from its coverage of the National Basketball Association
playoffs, Turner Network Television scored a rare four-pointer in the Nielsen
standings last week.

TNT grabbed the top spot in household ratings and among adults 18 through 34,
18 through 49 and 25 through 54 May 6 through 12, according to a Turner
Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Lifted by the 4.1 household rating dunked by the Los Angeles Lakers-San
Antonio Spurs game May 10 and the 3.4 garnered by the Sacramento Kings-Dallas
Mavericks contest May 6, TNT averaged a 2.1 household rating for the week,
topping Lifetime Television and Nickelodeon, which both earned a 1.9.

TNT has now won the household race two weeks running, after Lifetime led the
way in basic cable during the year's first 17 weeks.

Benefiting from the 3.4 rating from Lakers-Spurs May 7 and a 3.8 for the
broadcast- window premiere of theatrical Deep Blue Sea May 12, TBS
Superstation tied sister channel Cartoon Network for third, each with a 1.7

USA Network was next with a 1.4. Five other networks tied with 1.0 ratings
within their respective universes: A&E Network, ESPN, MTV: Music Television,
Discovery Channel and Fox News Channel.

Elsewhere in the all-news category, Cable News Network averaged a 0.7, while
MSNBC generated a 0.3, ahead of the 0.2 pulled by CNN Headline News and

On a total-day basis, Nickelodeon led by a 0.5-point margin with a 1.6
average over Lifetime and Cartoon. TBS and TNT were tied for fourth with 1.0
averages gauged on a 24-hour basis.

The aforementioned NBA games, plus the Kings-Mavericks match May 9, also
helped TNT to finish first among the key adult-demo groups. The network averaged
637,000 18-through-34 watchers last week, according to the Turner analysis,
beating MTV (545,000) and TBS (423,000).

Among adults 18 through 49 and the older group, TNT and TBS ran one-two. TNT
counted 1.36 million and 1.30 million viewers within the respective sets last
week, while TBS scored 926,000 and 982,000 of those watchers on average.

Lifetime was third in both cases with 756,000 adults 18 through 49 and
898,000 watchers aged 25 through 54.

MTV's The Osbournes was the No. 1 show for the week with a 5.6
household rating May 7, ahead of TNN's coverage of World Wrestling Entertainment
Inc. fare May 6, which pinned a 4.8 average for the second hour and a 4.2 from 9
p.m. to 10 p.m.

The May 7 installment of The Real World XI tied the May 10
Lakers-Spurs match with a 4.1. Closing out the top 10: Nick's SpongeBob
episodes May 12 at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., both of which
averaged 3.3 household ratings.