Boosted by an historic trio of Game 7 telecasts on May 3, TNT scored the network’s most-viewed and highest-rated first round ever with the NBA Playoffs.
Over 26 live telecasts, TNT averaged a 2.6 U.S. household rating and just over 4 million viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals data. Those deliveries were up 13% and 19%, respectively, from the 2.3 rating and 3.37 million watchers for the opening round of the 2013 NBA postseason.
TNT’s coverage of the 2014 NBA Playoffs pushed it to the top of cable primetime 11 times among males 18 to 34 and 18 to 49, and seven times among total viewers. The network televised nine of the top 10 most-viewed NBA Playoff games airing on cable through the first round.
TNT’s coverage of the three Game 7s on Saturday, May 3 – the Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers at 5:30 p.m. (ET) followed by the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors vs. the Los Angeles Clippers – averaged 5.1 million watchers and a 3.2 rating. The tripleheader performance marked a 28% bump among viewers and 23% gain in rating over the drama network’s overall averages for this year’s first-round pro hoops action.
Game 7 between the Warriors-Clippers notched 6 million viewers and a 3.6 rating to stand as TNT’s most-viewed first round telecast since the Game 7 battle between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets in 2012. The Warriors-Clippers telecast peaked with a 4.2 rating and 6.9 million total viewers in the 1:30 a.m. quarter (May 4).
TNT’s Thunder-Grizzlies telecast averaged a 3.6 rating and 5.8 million total viewers to propel the network to win the night across all of cable in primetime. The telecast — peaking with a 3.7 rating and 6.2 million total viewers in the 10:30 p.m. quarter hour. — was up 33% from a 2.7 and 32% over 4.4 million viewers from last year’s comparable Game 7 between the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls.
The decisive Pacers-Hawks averaged a 2.3 rating and 3.5 million total viewers, peaking with a 3.4 rating and 5.5 million viewers from 8-8:15 p.m.