TNT Rides NBA to Total-Day Mark


Spurred by the second-round National Basketball Association matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, Turner Network Television scored its best-ever total-day performance among key adult demos and was the runaway winner in basic-cable’s primetime among households and adult demos last week.

The drama network posted up a 3.5 household rating May 10-16, according to an ABC Cable Networks Group analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

The playoff series -- pitting the clubs that had combined to wear the last five pro-hoops diadems against each other -- produced the two highest-rated shows of the week: The Lakers’ series clincher in game six May 15 dunked a 6.0 household mark, while the game-five contest May 11 averaged a 5.6.

These contests were trailed by a Minnesota Timberwolves-Sacramento Kings battle May 14 with a 4.1 and the 3.9 notched by the Detroit Pistons-New Jersey Nets game May 16, which ranked third and fourth, respectively, in household ratings last week.

All told, NBA playoff games -- including ESPN’s coverage of Timberwolves-Kings May 12 -- accounted for 10 of the top 20 basic-cable shows during that span.

Gauged on a total-day basis, TNT averaged a 1.6 household mark, trailing only perennial daypart leader Nickelodeon for the week. But TNT held the top spot among adults 18-34 (435,000 of those viewers on average), 18-49 (932,000) and 25-54 (939,000), setting network records in the process. That network feat was matched among persons 2+ (1.69 million) and households (1.37 million).

It was more of the same in primetime a week ago, when TNT lorded over all other basic-cable networks among the five aforementioned demographic groups.

Furthermore, the network said it topped UPN and The WB Television Network for primetime delivery of adults 25-54 and men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, as well as with persons 2+ and households.

Finally, TNT’s hoops presentations May 14 and 15 were the leading shows of the nights -- broadcast or cable -- among adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

Back on the cable beat in primetime, Nick was second with a 2.2 household rating, ahead of USA Network’s 1.8, Nick at Nite’s 1.7 and Disney Channel’s 1.6. Rounding out the top 10: Lifetime Television and Cartoon Network with a 1.4 apiece; FX with a 1.3; TBS Superstation at a 1.1; and MTV: Music Television, which averaged a 1.1.