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Hoops Drive Cable Winners

Turner Network Television topped the cable rankings for May, with more viewers than any other ad-supported cable network. TNT averaged 3.22 million viewers in prime time for May, up 8% from a year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. Second-place USA Network's viewership climbed 11% to 1.94 million.

Rounding out the top five were Nick at Nite, which pulled in 1.81 million viewers; Disney Channel, with 1.79 million viewers; and ESPN, with 1.71 million viewers.

There were some super-strong, year-to-year gainers. ABC Family jumped a whopping 46% to 876,000, Comedy Central's audience grew 42% to 922,000; and ESPN, celebrating its 25th anniversary, was up an appropriate 25%.

Both TNT and ESPN got a boost from the National Basketball Association playoffs. Nine of the month's top 10 shows were NBA games, with WWE on Spike TV the lone exception. The top-rated telecast was TNT's May 25 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves, which drew 5.97 million hoops fans.