Nets Continue To Turn Up Playoff Hoop Heat

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Through the first two rounds, NBA playoff action has been fantastic for its national carriers.

Over nine telecasts, ABC dunked a 28% rise in household ratings to a 3.7 mark. That average received a boost on Sunday, as the Boston Celtics’ Game 7 victory over LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers, earned a 5.7 national rating, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The May 18 contest was the fourth most-watched non-Finals NBA playoff game ever on the Alphabet network.

Cable cousin ESPN, meanwhile, registered a 27% increase to a 2.8 average through 16 cablecasts, up from a 2.2 mark at the same stage of the playoffs in 2007.

On the demo side, ABC grew 41% among men 18 to 34 (1.1 million), 36% among men 18 to 49 (2 million) and 39% among men 25 to 54 (1.9 million).

For its part, ESPN saw its males 18-to-34 count soar 43% to 826,000, climb 36% with guys 18 to 49 (1.4 million) and improve 40% with men 25 to 54 (1.3 million).

Over at TNT, national ratings have improved 14% to a 2.4 (2.7 on the cable side) for 36 games (37 last season).. Households rose 16% to 2.69 million, while viewers jumped 15% to 3.46 million watchers on average.

The “drama” network also scored well with all key demos: adults 18 to 34 (26% to 1.13 million); adults 18 to 49 (23% to 2.07 million); adults 25-54 (25% to 1.88 million); males 18 to 34 (32% to 862,000); men 18 to 49 (24% to 1.51 million); and men 25 to 54 (23% to 1.33 million).

During its 14-game second-round coverage, TNT averaged a 2.5 national rating (2.8 cable), up 18% over last season (13 games). The network scored an 18% increase in homes to 3.26 million and 17% in total viewers to 4.25 million.

With the playoffs now in the conference final stage, the series are being televised along network lines.

ESPN/ABC have the Eastern Conference matchup as the Celtics beat the Detroit Pistons in the first game on May 20, while TNT has the Western Conference series in which the Los Angeles Lakers hold a one-game edge over the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.

ABC will televise all of the NBA Finals.

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