The NBA Playoffs continues to attract strong numbers on TNT, with Wednesday’s Mavericks/Lakers Game 2 earning the net’s top audience of the postseason.
TNT is averaging a 2.9 U.S. rating and 4.524 million viewers for coverage of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, up 26% in ratings and 31% in viewership from last year (2.3, 3.449M). Of the 29 games on TNT, only five have had declines compared to last year.
In particular, the second round of the playoffs (six games) has averaged a 3.7 and 5.827 million viewers, up 28% and 30%, respectively, from last year (2.9, 4.494M).
On Wednesday night, Game 2 between the Mavericks and Lakers drew a 4.5 U.S. rating and 7.036 million viewers, up 7% in ratings and 11% in viewership from 2009 (HOU/LAL G2: 4.2, 6.321M), and up 50% and 59%, respectively, from 2008 (UTA/LAL G2: 3.0, 4.424M). There was no comparable game last year.
The Mavericks’ win ranks as the most-viewed game of the postseason on TNT, and the second-most viewed of the postseason overall. Only Celtics/Heat Game 1 (9.219M, ABC) earned a larger audience.
Impressively, the game was the Wednesday’s top program on broadcast or cable among adults 18-34, men 18-34 and men 18-49.
Earlier Wednesday night, Game 2 between the Hawks and Bulls scored a 3.3 U.S. rating and 5.211 million viewers, up 27% in ratings and 30% in viewership from last year (SA/PHX G2: 2.6, 3.999M), and up 14% and 20%, respectively, from 2009 (ORL/BOS G2: 2.9, 4.345M). Last year’s Spurs/Suns game aired in a later timeslot (9 PM ET).
TNT’s doubleheader outdrew Wednesday’s primetime averages for ABC, NBC and the lowly CW Network in households and in key demographics.
Ratings Up in Key Demos: Playoff viewership on TNT has also increased in several key demographics. Among adults 18-34 and 18-49 and men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, playoff viewership has risen by over a third.
During the second round, viewership has increased by 48% among both adults 18-34 and men 18-34.
(Numbers from Turner Sports)