The Miami Heat's Big Three pushed the Boston Celtics to the brink of playoff extinction in Game 4 of their NBA second-round playoff series, with TNT's coverage vanquishing all TV competitors in key demos in the process.
TNT's May 9 telecast was the tops in all TV - broadcast and cable - among persons and guys 18 to 34, males18 to 49 and men 25 to 54, according to Nielsen data.
Miami-Boston averaged a 2011 postseason cable-best 4.7 U.S. rating 7 p.m. to 9:56 p.m. as LeBron James and company topped Paul Pierce's Celts in overtime, drawing 7.82 million viewers during that nearly three-hour window, according to Nielsen data. The telecast supplanted TNT's Game 2 coverage of Los Angeles-Dallas, which drew 7.04 million viewers, as the biggest cable playoff audience to date in the 2011 campaign.
As for the nightcap -- Oklahoma City's triple OT triumph that knotted its series against the Memphis Grizzlies at two games apiece -- TNT netted a 3.5 rating and 5.59 million viewers from 9:56 p.m. - 1:43 a.m., according to Nielsen. The games delivered respective increases of 104% and 13% over their counterparts from the 2010 playoffs - a 2.3 for Orlando-Atlanta and a 3.1 for Los Angeles-Utah.
Through the first eight contests of the second round of the 2011 playoffs, TNT dunked a 36% ratings rise to a 3.8 average from a 2.9 last year. Over the course of its 32 games to date, the "drama" network posted a 30% gain to a 3.0 from a 2.3 as it's on pace to score its most-watched pro hoops postseason marks ever.
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