Weekly Cable Ratings: TNT, ESPN Dunk Competition in Primetime

Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers for a ball against Kevon Looney and Donte DiVincenzo of the Golden State Warriors in game one of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs at Chase Center on May 02, 2023.
Some 7.3 million viewers tuned into TNT for Game 1 of the Lakers-Warriors NBA playoff series. (Image credit: Getty Images)

TNT and ESPN dominated the primetime basic-cable ratings for the second straight week on the strength of their NBA and NHL playoffs coverage.

TNT led all cable networks for the third-straight week with an average of 3.2 million viewers in primetime for the week of May 1-7, Nielsen said. The network was led by its May 2 coverage of Game 1 of the Los Angeles Lakers-Golden State Warriors second-round NBA playoff series, which averaged 7.3 million viewers. 

ESPN finished second with 2.4 million viewers, followed by Fox News Channel, which averaged 1.4 million views for the week. MSNBC was fourth with 1.1 million, followed by HGTV’s 773,000 watchers.

Rounding out the top 10 most-watched networks in primetime were INSP (727,000 viewers), TBS (722,000), History (690,000), TLC (617,000) and USA Network (583,000).

Fox News won on a total-day basis the 17th straight week with an average of 1.1 million viewers, followed by ESPN (889,000 viewers), TNT (835,000), MSNBC (765,000), and CNN (473,000), Nielsen reported. 

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.