TNT's coverage of the NBA playoffs is not only off to the best Nielsen start in cable television history, but the network says it's delivering the biggest increase among affluent viewers of any professional sports league ever.
Coming off its most-watched and highest-rated season in its 27 years of airing the NBA, Turner Sports is continuing apace with those measures during the 2011 postseason.
Over its first 19 games, TNT's coverage averaged a 2.7 U.S. household rating, up 29% from a 2.1 last year, according to Nielsen data. Thus far, TNT has scored a 29% gain to 3.14 million households from 2.43 million, and posted up a 33% surge to 4.26 million viewers from 3.19 million last season.
Meanwhile, the NBA Playoffs on TNT are playing particularly well with those earning more than $100,000 and $125,000 among persons 18-to-34, 18-to-49 and 25-to-54 groupings. Through April 25, TNT's NBA playoff coverage has scored a 78% jump among persons 18 to 34 in households with $100,000 or more; 60% with persons 18 to 49; and 48% against adults 25 to 54.
The gains were even stronger in households with income exceeding $125,000: 98% among persons 18 to 34; 78% with persons 18 to 49%; and 60% against adults 25 to 54. Officials at the programmer said the growth for both affluent categories is the most of any professional sports league, playoffs or regular season.
All told, TNT's demo deliveries for the pro hoops postseason to date are as follows: up 39% to 1.43 million persons 18 to 49; 39% to 2.46 million persons 18 to 49; 34% to 2.18 million adults 25 to 54; 37% to 1 million males 18 to 34; 40% to 1.77 million guys to 1.77 million; and 37% to 1.55 million men 25 to 54.