TNT, ESPN Post Strong Q2 Viewer Gains Thanks To NBA, College Basketball

NBA-fueled live programming on TNT and ESPN in the second quarter -- now back in its regularly scheduled mid-April to mid-June dates -- helped those networks register big prime-time viewer hikes in the period.

Due to pandemic-related disruptions, NBA playoffs for the last two years were scheduled later in the year. In 2021, they ran from May 22 to July 20. In 2020, they were scheduled from August 17 to October 11.

TNT -- which also saw a boost in viewing from the NCAA Men’s College Basketball tournament in March -- was up 17% to 1.79 million Nielsen-measured viewers versus the same period the year before, in second place. Next was ESPN -- 24% higher to 1.64 million viewers, in third place.

Fox News Channel continues to top all U.S. cable networks -- up 4% from a year ago to 2.3 million viewers -- while MSNBC was down 23% to 1.1 million, in fourth place.

The rest of the top-ten cable entertainment or non-fiction channels were generally down versus a year ago.

HGTV came in at 991,000 viewers (down 18%), while INSP and TLC each had 810,000 (INSP up 11% and TLC 7%, higher); TBS (795,000 -- down 13%); Hallmark Channel (770,000 -- losing 4%), and History (751,000 -- slipping 9%).



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