TNT's NBA opening night doubleheader on Tuesday, which featured Celtics-Heat and Mavericks-Lakers, averaged a 3.2 U.S. rating and 4.8 million viewers, leading TNT to a win among all cable nets in primetime. The games also ranked No. 1 and No. 2 among all telecasts on Tuesday among males 18-34 and 18-49. The audience numbers were affected by Hurricane Sandy, with more than 20% of metered market households not factored in, including top markets N.Y., Boston and Philadelphia. By comparison, the '10-11 season-opening doubleheader on TNT averaged a 3.7 rating and 5.7 million viewers featuring Heat-Celtics and Rockets-Lakers. Meanwhile, TNT has been forced to alter its programming schedule tonight with the postponement of the Knicks-Nets game at Barclays Center. The net will air two episodes of "The Mentalist" from 7:00-9:00pm ET, then will air a 30-minute edition of "NBA Tip-Off" before the televising Thunder-Spurs as originally scheduled at 9:30pm (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
YOU DON'T SEE ME: In Houston, David Barron reported despite “discussions that a company spokesman said continued" into last night, Comcast SportsNet Houston officials “were unable to expand the new network’s list of cable subscribers prior to” the Rockets regular-season opener against the Pistons. With carriage “limited to Comcast, Phonoscope and a collection of smaller systems, only about 40 percent of Houston’s roughly 2.2 million television households had access to the first Rockets game on the new network” (CHRON.com, 10/31). Meanwhile, CABLEFAX DAILY reports “negotiations are continuing” between Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Cox, DirecTV and Dish Network after the net's first Lakers broadcast last night. With 70 games on TWC's roster, "there's still time for deals to be made” (CABLEFAX DAILY, 11/1).
THE THUNDER ROLLS: Basketball HOFer Nancy Lieberman said that she is “excited about her new role” as an analyst on FS Oklahoma's "Thunder Live" pre- and postgame shows. In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht notes Lieberman was a “longtime basketball analyst for ABC and ESPN,” and has a “long history with Fox Sports Southwest, dating to the 1980s.” Lieberman: “They were one of the first ones to give me an opportunity to do men's college basketball. I am grateful to the folks at Fox, but I am over the moon to be able to do this and be a part of the Thunder broadcast team” (OKLAHOMAN, 11/1).