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NBA PLAYOFF RATINGS ON NBC CONTINUE TO IMPRESS
Published May 26, 1995
The Game 7 showdowns between the Rockets and Suns and the Knicks and Pacers last weekend pushed NBC's cumulative playoff average to its highest mark in 18 years. Through four weekends and 16 telecasts, NBC has a national average of a 7.2/20 -- the highest rating after the initial four weekends since CBS posted an 8.1/29 in '77 (NBC Sports). Despite the losses of the Knicks (No. 1 media market), the Lakers (No. 2) and the Bulls (No. 3), NBC's "research department believes the 13 percent increase so far over last year's playoffs will be maintained, perhaps even surpassed." NBC Sports' Ed Markey: "By now, everyone knows these teams and who plays on them" (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 5/26). The NBA playoffs have pushed TNT to No. 1 in the prime-time basic cable ratings. Last week, TNT had five of the top ten highest rated cable shows -- all NBA broadcasts. TNT has averaged a 3.9 cable rating, up 30% from '94, while TBS has averaged a 2.8, a 65% increase over '94 (Turner). FOR NHL -- FOX IS UP, ESPN IS DOWN: In L.A., Larry Stewart notes that while the "NBA is booming," the NHL on Fox only received a 1.9 national rating last Sunday. That included a 1.2 in L.A., which was topped by a Jimmy Connors-John McEnroe match (L.A. TIMES, 5/26). ESPN's NHL ratings are down 10% to a 0.9 average (USA TODAY, 5/26).