TNT Scores 6.4M Viewers With Game 1 of Spurs-Thunder

Like the San Antonio Spurs, TNT got off to a good start with the 2014 NBA Western Conference Finals, averaging more than 6 million viewers with its Monday night telecast.

TNT’s coverage of the Spurs’ blowout of the Oklahoma City Thunder netted a 4.0 U.S. household rating and 6.4 million watchers, according to Nielsen data. The May 19 telecast scored gains of 29% and 31%, respectively, over the 3.1 rating and 4.9 million watchers for the first game of the 2013 Western Conference Finals matching the Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies that aired on ESPN. Under the current national NBA rights deals, TNT and ESPN alternate coverage of the Western and Eastern Conference Finals every year.

Through the first 40 games of the NBA playoffs, TNT has averaged  a 2.8 rating and 4.3 million viewers, up 4% and 6%, respectively, from a 2.7 and 4.1 million watchers at the corresponding stage of last year’s pro hoops postseason.

Thus far, TNT has aired seven of the top 10 most-watched NBA playoffs games -- cable or broadcast -- in 2014.