TNT Dunks 7.5 Million Viewers with NBA All-Star Game

2014 Event Outpoints 2010 Contest, Last Time Event Matched Up Against Winter Olympics

The Eastern Conference’s big NBA All-Star Game comeback played big for TNT, giving the "drama network" the win in cable sports on Sunday night.

TNT’s coverage of the contest from New Orleans -- the East, led by Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, who took home MVP honors, with an assist from New York’s Carmelo Anthony who set an All-Star Game mark with eight, three-pointers, ended the West’s three-game winning streak,  163-155 -- averaged a 4.3 U.S. household rating (5.1 cable rating) and 7.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen fast nationals data.

The delivery, playing against NBC’s curated primetime presentation of the Sochi Olympics and a new episode of AMC’s zombie hit, The Walking Dead, which averaged 13.3 million viewers, including 8.7 million persons 18 to 49, that was tops in all of TV with the demo, was down 4% in households and a 6% in audience from the 4.4 and 8 million viewers from the 2013 All-Star Game.

However, the Feb. 16 telecast of the highest-scoring ASG in NBA history keyed TNT’s primetime victory on Sunday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and also marked a 12% gain in rating and a 13% audience advance from the 3.8 rating and 6.9 million viewers for the 2010 event, the last time the contest matched up against the Winter Olympics from Vancouver.

TNT’s live game telecast peaked with a 4.7 household rating and 8.3 million viewers in the 9 p.m. (ET) quarter hour. The top five metered markets in order were: Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Richmond, Va.,  Miami and San Antonio.

As to NBA All-Star Saturday Night, TNT's Feb. 15 presentation averaged a 3.1 rating and 5.7 million viewers, to finish in the top 5 of the 29-year history of the event. The telecast peak in the 10:45 p.m. quarter hour with a 3.7 rating and 6.7 million viewers.

Oklahoma City was the top local market, followed by Miami, Richmond, New York and Cleveland.