Driven by the success of the NBA Playoffs, TNT swept the field last week as basic cable's #1 network in primetime among total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. TNT also dominated the race for young adults, ranking as television's #1 network among adults 18-34 in primetime. Additionally, TNT garnered first-place rankings in total day delivery of adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.
TNT's coverage of the 2014 NBA Playoffs delivered the network's most-viewed and highest-rated first round since 2011, with an average of 4,009,000 total viewers and a 2.6 U.S. HH rating for 26 live game telecasts, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals. The network's viewership is up +19% and its U.S. HH rating has increased +13% when compared with last year's opening round averages (3,374,000 total viewers; 2.3 U.S. HH rating).
The 2014 NBA Playoffs have propelled TNT to win the night in primetime across all of cable television 11 times among the coveted men 18-34 and men 18-49 demos and seven times among total viewers. The network televised nine of the Top 10 most-viewed NBA Playoff games airing on cable through the first round. Additionally, TNT's Sports Emmy(R)-winning Inside the NBA studio show averaged a 1.3 U.S. HH rating and 1.8 million total viewers during the first round, up 8% and 6% respectively over last year.
TNT televised a Game 7 tripleheader on Saturday, May 4 - the Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers at 5:30 p.m. ET followed by the Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors vs. the Los Angeles Clippers - averaging 5.1 million total viewers and a 3.2 U.S. HH rating. The tripleheader was up 28% among total viewers and 23% in U.S. HH rating over the network's overall averages for this year's first round action.
Game 7 between the Warriors/Clippers netted an average of 6.0 million total viewers and a 3.6 U.S. HH rating to register TNT's most-viewed first round telecast since Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets in 2012. The Warriors/Clippers telecast peaked with a 4.2 U.S. HH rating and an average of 6.9 million total viewers from 1:30-1:45 a.m.
TNT's Game 7 coverage of Memphis/Oklahoma City averaged a 3.6 U.S. HH rating and 5.8 million total viewers to propel the network to win the night across all of cable in primetime. The telecast - peaking with a 3.7 U.S. HH rating and 6.2 million total viewers from 10:30-10:45p.m. - was up 33% in U.S. HH rating and 32% among total viewers over last year's comparable Game 7 between the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls (2.7 U.S. HH rating; 4.4 million total viewers).
Game 7 between the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers averaged a 2.3 U.S. HH rating and 3.5 million total viewers, peaking with a 3.4 U.S. HH rating and an average of 5.5 million total viewers from 8-8:15 p.m.
Following the Game 7 tripleheader, TNT's Inside the NBA delivered a 1.8 U.S. HH rating from 1:52-2:43 a.m. ET, based on metered market ratings. Saturday's overnight rating is up +38% when compared with the show's 1.3 average rating over the entire first round in 2014.
Additional notes about the NBA Playoffs are included below in the NBA TV and NBA.com & NBA Mobile sections.
Across the 1st week of May 2014, Cartoon Network's delivery ranked as television's #1 network for Early Prime (6-8 p.m.) among boys 9-14. Total Day delivery increased among kids 2-11 by 8% and kids 6-11 by 4% vs. the same time period last year.
On Monday Night (6- 8 p.m.), Cartoon Network scored as the #1 destination among boys 6-11 & 9-14, increasing by double digits - ranging between 25% and 32% - across all targeted demos vs. the same time period last year. The new episode premiere of Regular Show (6:30 p.m.) scored as the #1 telecast of the week among boys 9-14, and #1 in its time period among boys 6-11. The new episode premiere of the newest animated series, Clarence (7 p.m.) ranked as the #1 telecast of the day among kids 6-11 & 9-14 and boys 6-11. Additionally, the episode premiere of Adventure Time (6 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among kids 6-11 and boys 6-11 & 9-14. All three episode premiere increased delivery by double digits across all targeted demos, ranging between 23% and 74% vs. the same time period last year.
Cartoon Network also ranked as the #1 destination among boys 9-14 vs. all television on Wednesday Night (6-8 p.m.), increasing among kids 2-11 by 8% and kids 6-11 by 1%. The episode premieres of Johnny Test (6 p.m.), Teen Titans Go! (6 p.m.), and Steven Universe (7 p.m.) ranked #1 in their respective time periods among boys 9-14. The episode premiere of Teen Titans Go! increased among all targeted kids and boy demos vs. the same time period last year.
Furthermore, Cartoon Network scored as the #1 destination on all television among boys 6-11 & 9-14 on Tuesday and Thursday Night (6-8 p.m.), while growing among all targeted demos - ranging between 6% and 24% vs. the same time period last year.
Saturday morning's episode premiere of Pokémon The Series XY (8:30 a.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among boys 9-14. The episode premiere of Tenkai Knights (7 a.m.) increased among kids 2-11 by 36% & 6-11 by 44% and boys 2-11 by 18% & 6-11 by 41% vs. the same time period last year.
Across the first week of May 2014, Adult Swim's Total Day Delivery ranked #1 among adults 18-24 & 18-34 and men 18-24 & 18-34 on basic cable this week.
Monday night's episode premiere of The Boondocks (10:30 p.m.) achieved year-to-year double-digit growth among all key adults and men demos - ranging between 19% and 60%.
The episode premiere of Robot Chicken (Sunday, 11:30 p.m.) ranked #1 in its time period among all key adults and men 18-34, while increasing among men 18-34 by 2% and men 18-49 by 8% vs. the same time period last year.
Saturday night's anime programming block TOONAMI presentations of Attack on Titan (Saturday, 11:30 p.m.) and Bleach (12 a.m.) increased year-to-year among adults 18-34 & 18-49 and all key men, while Blue Exorcist (2 a.m.) increased by mostly double digits across the board - ranging between 13% and 43%.
Adult Swim's programming - including Family Guy, The Boondocks, and Robot Chicken - accounted for 19 of the top 50 telecasts on basic cable for the week among adults 18-34 and 23 of the top 50 among men 18-34, both more than any other network.
The Big Bang Theory on TBS continued to trounce the competition last week. The blockbuster comedy accounted for 14 of basic cable's Top 15 sitcom telecasts for the week among total viewers and adults 18-49.
Two of TBS's unscripted originals scored growth last week. The hilarious hidden-camera competition series Deal With It averaged more than 1.2 million viewers in Live + 3 delivery for Wednesday night's episode, with demos growth of +10% among adults 18-34 and +2% among adults 18-49 compared to the prior week. And Monday's episode of Bam's Bad Ass Game Show garnered 849,000 viewers in Live + 3 delivery, growing its demos by +37% among adults 18-34 and +5% among adults 18-49, compared to the prior week.
NBA TV's comprehensive coverage of the NBA Playoffs first round netted the network's most-watched game coverage of all time and its two most-viewed telecasts ever. NBA TV's seven originally produced live game telecasts averaged 720,000 total viewers to register the network's most-viewed NBA Playoff coverage of all time, a +237% increase over the comparable first round coverage last year. The network's presentation of Game 6 featuring the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, May 1, produced NBA TV's most-viewed telecast ever with an average of 1,071,000 total viewers.
The Pacers/Hawks game peaked with 1,978,000 total viewers from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET, the most-watched quarter hour in the network's history. NBA TV's Pacers/Hawks telecast surpassed the mark set two days earlier (Tuesday, April 27) - Memphis vs. Oklahoma City, Game 5 - with an average of 939,000 total viewers.
Four of NBA TV's live game telecasts were up triple digits among total viewers over last year's comparable coverage including the aforementioned Grizzlies/Thunder Game 5 (+452%), along with the Atlanta Hawks/Indiana Pacers Game 5, on Wednesday, April 28 (+227%), the Pacers/Hawks Game 3 on Thursday, April 24 (+209%) and the Dallas Mavericks/San Antonio Spurs Game 2 on Wednesday, April 23 (+186%).
Additional NBA TV highlights include:
- The network delivering three of its most-viewed game telecasts of all time - Indiana/Atlanta Game 6, Memphis/Oklahoma City Game 5, and Indiana/Atlanta Game 3 with an average of 757,000 total viewers);
- The best delivery in network history across all key demos with each category up more than 200% over last year's NBA Playoffs;
- Total day audience up 103% on NBA TV since the start of the playoffs and the network's highest-ever daily viewership for the opening round of the playoffs;
- NBA GameTime, the network's signature studio show, generating +31% viewership increases for its post-game coverage throughout the first round.
NBA.com & NBA Mobile
NBA Digital has also registered record traffic across its digital platforms - NBA.com and NBA Mobile - with page views up 29% and video views up 7% over last year. NBA Mobile, in particular, has posted a 126% increase in video views and 46% gain in page views when compared with the first round of the playoffs in 2013. The league's staple NBA Game Time app is up more than 100% in downloads since the playoffs began.
Since the start of the NBA Playoffs, seven of the top 10 most-discussed TV programs on Twitter have been NBA games, with Game 2 of the Oklahoma City/Memphis series (airing on TNT) ranking as the most-discussed NBA Playoff game on Twitter during the 2014 NBA Playoffs to date with 800,000 tweets.