TNT, ESPN Lace Up For NBA Playoffs

TNT and ESPN are hoping to build on their National Basketball Association regular season ratings going the league's post-season campaign.

TNT finished its 2009-10 NBA coverage averaging 1.72 million viewers for its 53 mostly Thursday night NBA telecasts, up about 1% from last year's 1.70 million viewers. It was TNT's most watched season since the 1995-96 campaign, according to Turner executives.

ESPN averaged 1.5 million viewers for 75 games, down 7% from last year's record 1.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

On the digital side, averaged a record 52 million global monthly unique visitors and more than 1 billion video downloads for the regular season.

ESPN and ABC will tip off cable's NBA playoffs coverage Saturday (April 17) with a tripleheader featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers-Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks-Atlanta Hawks and the Utah Jazz-Denver Nuggets matchups -- part of its approximately 44-game post season live game coverage which includes ESPN's exclusive second round and Eastern Conference finals coverage, and ABC's exclusive NBA Finals telecasts.

All ESPN and ABC telecasts will also be available on, and select games can be seen via ESPN Mobile TV, according to the network.

TNT will take to the court Sunday (April 18) for the first of approximately 43 NBA playoff telecasts, including exclusive second round and Western Conference Finals coverage. NBA TV will air approximately six live playoff games with pre and post-game shows, while will stream every postgame news conference live throughout the playoffs, said league officials.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.