Weekly Cable Ratings: TNT, ESPN Tie For Primetime Ratings Honors

Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers grabs a rebound against the Phoenix Suns during the second half in game four of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center on June 26, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Ivica Zubac #40 of the LA Clippers grabs a rebound against the Phoenix Suns during the second half in game four of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center on June 26, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Image credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The NBA playoffs continue to deliver big ratings dividends for TNT and ESPN as both networks tied for first place on the weekly primetime charts, said Nielsen.

TNT and ESPN averaged 2.2 million viewers for the week of June 21 to June 27 on the strength of both network’s coverage of NBA Conference finals playoff games. Fox News finished third with 2.1 million viewers, followed by MSNBC and HGTV, said Nielsen.

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NBC Sports Network’s NHL post-season game telecasts propelled the sports network to sixth place with 907,000 viewers, followed by TBS (898,000 viewers), Discovery Channel (885,000), USA Network (881,000) and CNN (857,000).

Fox News topped the total day ratings chart for the 19th straight week with 1.2 million viewers, followed by ESPN (823,000), MSNBC (799,000), CNN (654,000) and HGTV (628,000), said Nielsen. 

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.