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NBA Playoffs Dominate Weekly Ratings

TNT and ESPN’s NBA playoff coverage is scoring with viewers and propelling the networks to the top of the primetime ratings charts.

TNT, which is televising the Oklahoma City Thunder/Golden State Warriors NBA Western Conference finals series, finished first among all cable networks in primetime during the week of May 16-May 22 with an average of 2.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen. ESPN, which is distributing the Cleveland Cavaliers/Toronto Raptors NBA Eastern Conference finals, finished second with an average of 2.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

TNT and ESPN were also the top two choices among adults 18-49 for the week, according to Nielsen.

Fox News was third for the week among total viewers with 1.9 million viewers, followed by USA Network, and TBS and HGTV, which all tied for fourth with 1.3 million viewers. NBCSN and History (tied with 1.2 million viewers), Discovery Channel (1.1 million) and Disney Channel (1 million) rounded out the top 10 most watched networks for the week.

Fox News, Nickelodeon and TNT ended the week in a tie for the weekly total day crown, with all three networks averaging 1.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Most Watched Shows during the week of May 16-22

DateShowNetworkTotal Viewers

5/16   NBA -- Oklahoma City/Golden State                TNT                             8.7 million

5/22   NBA – Golden State/Oklahoma City                 TNT                             8.0 million

5/22   Game Of Thrones                                             HBO                            7.8 million

5/18   NBA – Oklahoma City/Golden State                 TNT                             7.5 million

5/19   NBA – Toronto/Cleveland                                  ESPN                           5.4 million

5/17   NBA – Toronto/Cleveland                                 ESPN                           5.4 million

5/21   NBA – Cleveland/Toronto                                 ESPN                           5.3 million

5/22   Fear The Walking Dead                                   AMC                            4.3 million

5/16   Inside The NBA Playoffs                                 TNT                              4.0 million

5/22   Inside The NBA Playoffs                                 TNT                             3.4 million

Source: Nielsen