Two of the highest-profile teams in the NBA attracted good numbers on TNT Thursday. In other news, ratings dropped double-digits for college basketball on CBS last week, while ESPN had a slight increase for coverage of the NCAA FCS playoffs.
- Lakers/Knicks Strong on TNT: Thursday’s Lakers/Knicks NBA regular season game drew 3.0 million viewers on TNT, up 81% from Celtics/Sixers in 2010 (1.7M), and the fourth-largest NBA audience of the season on any network. By comparison, two games between the teams last season drew 3.3 million (December on TNT) and 3.0 million (February on ESPN). Later in the night, Spurs/Trail Blazers drew 1.3 million, virtually even with Magic/Trail Blazers in 2010 (1.3M). Last year’s Sixers/Knicks and Lakers/Mavericks doubleheader was canceled by the NBA owners’ lockout. (Thu. numbers from TV By the Numbers)
- Ratings Drop For Arkansas/Michigan on CBS: CBS drew a 1.0 final rating for last Saturday’s Arkansas/Michigan college basketball game, down 23% from Duke/Washington last year (1.3), but up 25% from Saint Louis/Duke in 2010 (0.8). The 1.0 rating was also down a tick from Baylor/Kentucky the previous week. (Weekend numbers from Sports Business Daily)
- Slight Bump in Viewership For FCS College Football Playoff: Last Saturday’s Georgia Southern/Old Dominion NCAA FCS Championship quarterfinal drew a 1.1 U.S. rating and 1.6 million viewers on ESPN, flat in ratings and up 1% in viewership from Sam Houston State/Montana State last year (1.1, 1.5M). The previous night, Montana State/Houston State earned a 0.5 and 783,000 viewers on ESPN2. (Weekend numbers from Son of the Bronx)