TNT Dunks Its Largest NBA Opening Night Ever
Averages 3.7 Million Watchers, Best In 26 Years; Top Doubleheader Since 1996
Mike Reynolds 10/28/2009 6:08:30 PM

TNT tipped off the NBA season with its most-watched opening night in its 26 seasons.
The Oct. 27 doubleheader featuring the Boston Celtics-Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers-Los Angeles Clippers averaged a 2.3 U.S. rating, 2.7 cable rating and 3.7 million watchers, according to Nielsen data. TNT sets opening night record with Celts-CavsThe telecasts marked the network's top doubleheader since Feb. 2, 1996, with the Cavaliers-Phoenix Suns and Lakers-Chicago Bulls, featuring Michael Jordan, according to network officials. The strong performance followed the most-watched NBA regular season in Turner Broadcasting's 26 years with the pro basketball league.

The Celtics-Cavaliers game on Tuesday delivered a 2.6 U.S. household rating, 3.0 cable mark, 4.02 million viewers and 2.98 million households. The match-up earned a 20.0 rating in the Cleveland market and an 8.3 rating in the Boston DMA.
The Lakers-Clippers contest delivered a 2.1 U.S. household rating, 2.4 cable rating 3.36 milion viewers and 2.42 million households. The game earned a 6.2 rating in LA.
TNT scored double-digit growth over last season's opening-night doubleheader of Cavaliers-Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers/Lakers among total viewers (43% to 3.68 million from 2.58 million in 2008) and households (40% to 2.69 million from 1.91 million).

The network also scored 35% gains among adults 18 to 34 and 18 to 49 and 39% with adults 25 to 54. The advances were even stronger with men of those ages, according to TNT officials.