It’s a slam dunk for the NBA

May 28, 2015

nba

 

The NBA has seen viewership spike for the third round of the playoffs on cable, which is a good sign for the upcoming finals on broadcast.

Both TNT and ESPN are up from last year, with superstars including LeBron James, Stephen Curry and James Harden drawing in lots of viewers.

Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, which aired Monday, became the most-watched telecast of the playoffs so far, drawing 8.28 million total viewers on ESPN, according to Nielsen.

That was up 29 percent from Game 4 of last year’s Western Conference finals between San Antonio and Oklahoma City, which aired on TNT and averaged 6.42 million total viewers.

Monday’s contest peaked with 9.4 million viewers from 10:30 to 11 p.m. Monday, as the Houston Rockets iced their first victory in the series over the Golden State Warriors.

The Eastern Conference finals, in which Cleveland swept Atlanta in four games, drew stronger numbers than last year, too. TNT averaged 6.8 million total viewers, up 7 percent over last year, when the series aired on ESPN.

The NBA playoffs accounted for all six of the top shows on cable last week.

There’s a good shot the gains will continue into the finals, which begin airing on ABC next week.

James will be playing in the finals for the fifth straight year.

That’s an impressive feat, but it’s made all the more incredible by the fact that James switched teams in the offseason, moving from the Miami Heat back to his hometown Cavs.

While James, long considered the game’s best player, won two titles in Miami, he has yet to bring one home to Cleveland, so there will be lots of interest in whether he can do it.

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In cable ratings for the week ended May 24:

Top five networks in primetime (18-49s): TNT, ESPN, TBS, NBCSN, USA.

Top five networks in primetime (total viewers): TNT, ESPN, USA, Disney Channel, TBS.

Top five total-day networks (total viewers): Disney Channel, TNT, Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, USA.

Top cable news networks in primetime (total viewers): Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, HLN, FBN, Al Jazeera America.

Top five cable news programs (total viewers): 1. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Thursday, 8 p.m.); 2. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Monday, 8 p.m.); 3. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Wednesday, 8 p.m.); 4. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Tuesday, 8 p.m.); 5. Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” (Thursday, 9 p.m.).

Top movie (total viewers): Disney Channel’s “Cars 2,” (Thursday, 8 p.m.) 2.09 million.

Top sporting event (total viewers): TNT’s “NBA Playoffs” (Sunday, 8:30 p.m.) 7.76 million.

Show on the rise: VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” Monday, 8 p.m. The reality show averaged 3.12 million total viewers, up 11 percent from the previous week’s 2.81 million.

Show on the decline: HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Sunday, 9 p.m. Perhaps hurt by the long Memorial Day weekend, the drama slipped 13 percent week-to-week among total viewers, from 6.24 million to 5.40 million.

 

TOP 25 CABLE PROGRAMS
Ranked on Total Viewers
Week Ending May 24

Rank Program Net (000)
1 NBA PLAYOFFS- CONF FNLS L TNT 7762
2 NBA PLAYOFFS-CONF FNLS  L ESPN 6866
3 NBA PLAYOFFS-CONF FNLS  L ESPN 6848
4 NBA PLAYOFFS- CONF FNLS L TNT 6847
5 NBA PLAYOFFS- CONF FNLS L TNT 5935
6 NBA PLAYOFFS-CONF FNLS  L ESPN 5676
7 GAME OF THRONES HBOM 5402
8 WWE ENTERTAINMENT USA 4001
8 WWE ENTERTAINMENT USA 4001
10 WWE ENTERTAINMENT USA 3955
11 INSIDE THE NBA PLAYOFFS TNT 3746
12 NBA DRAFT LOTTERY       L ESPN 3550
13 LOVE & HIP HOP ATLANTA 4 VH1 3124
14 SPORTSCENTER LATE       L ESPN 3071
15 INSIDE THE NBA PLAYOFFS TNT 2963
15 INSIDE THE NBA PLAYOFFS TNT 2963
17 SPORTSCENTER LATE       L ESPN 2696
18 DEADLIEST CATCH DISC 2680
19 THE OREILLY FACTOR FOXN 2596
20 WWE SMACKDOWN SYFY 2589
21 KEEPING UP KARDASHIANS EN 2554
22 BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBSC 2512
23 NCIS USA 2471
24 BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBSC 2427
25 BIG BANG THEORY, THE TBSC 2410
-Source: Nielsen

 

TOP 25 AD-SUPPORTED CABLE NETWORKS
Viewers 18-49
Week Ending May 24

Rank Primetime Total Day
Net (000) Net (000)
1 TNT 1310 ADSM 598
2 ESPN 1173 ESPN 470
3 TBSC 683 TNT 468
4 NBCS 623 USA 355
5 USA 599 NAN 349
6 ADSM 489 TBSC 331
7 DISC 483 NICK 326
8 HGTV 417 TOON 305
9 EN 392 DSNY 270
10 FOOD 384 HGTV 266
11 FX 375 FX 241
12 FAM 350 ID 235
13 SPK 349 DISC 232
14 HIST 346 A&E 220
15 APL 324 FOOD 217
16 MTV 310 SPK 207
17 DSNY 309 HIST 204
18 SYFY 309 FAM 193
19 LIFE 305 MTV 192
20 CMDY 297 EN 186
21 A&E 294 CMDY 184
22 VH1 294 APL 181
23 ID 274 LIFE 177
24 TLC 269 TLC 169
25 BRAV 265 TVLD 150
(1) Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24-hour day.
Source: Nielsen

 

 

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