Ratings: TNT's NBA East Finals Coverage Beats Big Three Networks’ Averages

Only the unstoppable force of “American Idol” prevented the pro hoops ratings from sweeping the board

NBA Playoff ratings just keep going up and up, and TNT caught a very good bounce with its coverage of the NBA's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night.

The cable outlet's airing of the Miami Heat/Chicago Bulls face-off beat out not only beat all other cable television offerings, but bested the primetime average of ABC, NBC and CBS, TNT announced on Thursday.

(Only Fox, with the seemingly unstoppable "American Idol," fared better.) All told, the game averaged 10 million viewers, taking a 6.1 household rating.

The numbers, while impressive, don't quite match TNT's numbers from Sunday's Game 1 of the conference finals, which became the most-viewed game in cable history with an average 11.1 million viewers and a 6.2 household rating. Even so, the Bulls are probably wishing that they had performed so well last night.

Read TNT's full press release below.

TNT’s EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF GAME #2 OF THE NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS DELIVERS 10 MILLION TOTAL VIEWERS AND 6.1 OVERALL U.S. HH RATING
 
  TNT’s exclusive coverage of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals featuring the Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls built off the record-setting performance of Game #1 by delivering 10.0 million total viewers and a 6.1 U.S. HH rating. Wednesday’s Game #2 coverage also out-delivered all of cable television and the primetime average of broadcast networks CBS, ABC and NBC on ratings, households, adult key demos and M2-54.
 
The opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals delivered a 6.2 U.S. HH Rating and was the most watched game in cable television history based on total viewership, delivering 11.1 million total viewers. Sunday’s opening game of the Eastern Conference Finals was also the most watched primetime program on television, broadcast or cable, for the night. 
 
To date, TNT’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs is up significantly over the network’s coverage a year ago, averaging a 3.2 U.S. HH Rating (+28%), 5,126,000 Total Viewers (+32%) and 3,724,000 Households (+30%). 
 
Overall, through 37 games, TNT’s 2011 NBA Playoffs coverage also has delivered strong double-digit growth across all key demos including:
 
·                     A18-34   +42%    (1,687,000 vs. 1,190,000)
·                     A18-49   +39%    (2,939,000 vs. 2,120,000)
·                     A25-54   +34%    (2,640,000 vs. 1,970,000)
·                     M18-34   +40%   (1,172,000 vs. 839,000)
·                     M18-49   +40%   (2,080,000 vs. 1,490,000)
·                     M25-54   +35%   (1,829,000 vs. 1,366,000)
 
Game Three of TNT’s live exclusive coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals continues on Sunday, May 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET with the NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com with Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst), Kenny Smith (analyst) and Kevin McHale (analyst) beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET. The night will conclude with Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai.