Ratings Roundup: TNT on Pace for Best NBA Playoffs in Cable History

With the second round in the books, TNT is enjoying the most-watched and highest-rated NBA Playoffs in cable-TV history, averaging a 3.0 U.S. household rating and 4.8 million total viewers, up 25% and 33%, respectively, year to year. Both the network’s first and second rounds of coverage have individually delivered record-setting cable-television ratings and audiences. TNT’s 23 first-round games delivered a 2.7 HH rating (up 29%) and 4.2 million total viewers (up 32%). The network’s 12 second-round games averaged a 3.7 HH rating (up 23%) and 6.0 million total viewers (up 28%).

In other NBA ratings news, the Wednesday’s final game of the Heat/Celtics series could not quite match the numbers for the Game 4 overtime thriller two nights earlier. Miami’s series-clinching Game 5 win over the Celtics drew a 5.3 overnight rating on TNT, down 9% from Game 4 of the series on Monday (5.8). Game 5 earned the second-lowest overnight of the series, ahead of only Game 2 (4.5). The first game of the series, which aired on ABC, ended up with the highest overnight (7.0).

As for the NHL, Tuesday’s Sharks-Red Wings Game 6 earned a 19.5 rating on Fox Sports Detroit, the highest rating ever for any sports event on the network. The previous record had been 17.5 for Ducks-Red Wings Game 7 in 2009. Ten of the 11 highest-rated games on FS Detroit, which has the rights to the Red Wings, Tigers, and Pistons, have been Red Wings games.

Coverage of horse racing’s Kentucky Oaks drew 235,000 viewers on Versus last Friday, up 4% from last year’s coverage on Bravo. Versus averaged 280,000 viewers for its Kentucky Derby coverage.