With a key assist from the highly rated National Basketball Association
postseason, Turner Network Television is on track to win the second-quarter cable Nielsen Media Research ratings
With one week left in the quarter, TNT is drawing an average 2.3 rating and
2.6 million viewers in prime time.
The Turner network also leads in all three key demographic groups -- adults 18-34,
18-49 and 25-54 -- according to Nielsen data.
NBA playoff games on TNT ranked as seven of the quarter's top 10
entertainment programs, including a May 13 game between the Los Angeles Lakers
and San Antonio Spurs that captured a stunning 7.7 million viewers, the
most-watched cable program in the ratings period.
War coverage boosted cable news ratings in the quarter. Fox News Channel
bubbled up to be the second-most-watched network, averaging a 2.1 rating and 2.2
million viewers in prime time.
On April 7, Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren attracted a
blistering 6.7 million viewers.
Fox News' prime-time viewership among adults 18-49 swelled 114% in the second
quarter compared with a year ago. Cable News Network's delivery grew 102% and MSNBC's increased
But while Fox News has managed to hold on to some of its wartime viewers, CNN and
MSNBC have both seen ratings fall back to more typical sizes in the postwar
Joining TNT and Fox News in the top five are Nickelodeon (1.7 rating, 2.2
million viewers), Lifetime Television (1.7, 1.8 million) and Disney
Channel (1.7, 1.9 million).
All of this helped cable networks to grab a larger audience in the second quarter than
the seven broadcast networks.
Ad-supported cable networks posted a 50.9 share for the quarter, compared with
a 43.9 for the broadcasters -- the second time in as many years cable has
triumphed in the second quarter.