TNT netted its second-best Nielsen marks with its coverage of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night, trailing only Michael Jordan's swan song with the event.
The drama network's Feb. 20 telecast of the West's 148-143 win over the East averaged a 5.2 U.S. household rating, 6 million households and 9.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals data.
That marked TNT's biggest audience with the NBA All-Star Game since the Feb. 9, 2003 contest delivered a 6.6 national rating and 10.1 million watchers in what was TNT's first presentation of the event and Jordan's last appearance in the contest.
TNT's presentation of the game from Staples Center, where hometown Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was named MVP, registered strong gains over the 2010 telecast, which squared off against the third night of NBC's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver. The 2011 NBA All-Star Game scored a 37% increase in rating (5.2 vs. 3.8), 36% with households (5.98 million vs. 4.39 million) and 33% among total viewers (9.09 million vs. 6.85 million), compared with the 2010 game.
The All-Star Game follows TNT's record-setting performance with NBA All-Star Saturday Night, highlighted by Blake Griffin's win in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, which drew 8.1 million watchers, 5.1 million households and a 4.4 U.S. HH rating, the most in the 26-year history of the event.
Together, TNT's Saturday-Sunday night coverage duo posted up 17 million watchers.