TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 – the Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets – averaged 8.8 million total viewers to deliver the network’s most-watched WCF Game 1 of all time. Last night’s telecast is the most-viewed WCF Game 1 across any network since Lakers/Kings in 2002.
The network’s Warriors/Rockets telecast – peaking with an average of 10 million viewers from 10:45-11 p.m. ET – is up 38% over TNT’s presentation of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 (Cleveland/Boston, 6.4 million viewers) and 9% when compared with last year’s WCF Game 1 (Warriors/Spurs, 8.1 million viewers).
Last night’s WCF Game 1 telecast was the #1 program of the night across all of television (cable and broadcast) and, including the iconic Inside the NBA post-game show (3.0 overnight rating), delivered the top two programs of the night across all of cable television, based on metered markets.
Additional highlights include:
WCF Game 1 Garners Significant Growth Across All Demos
TNT’s Warriors/Rockets telecast has generated double-digit increases across all core demos, including a 25% increase in People 18-34 and 21% in Men 18-34 vs. the 2017 NBA ECF Game 1 on TNT. Last night’s WCF Game 1 is also up approximately 20% or higher over last year’s WCF Game 1.
Most-Watched NBA Game on Cable TV Since 2016
Last night’s WCF Game 1 on TNT registered the most-watched NBA game across any network on cable television since Game 7 of the 2016 WCF on TNT (Warriors/Thunder).
TNT #1 Network in Primetime
The NBA Playoff on TNT have led the network to cable’s #1 ranking in primetime over the past four-week period, based on an average of nearly three million viewers in that particular telecast window (8-11 p.m. ET).
TNT’s Most Watched NBA Playoffs Coverage Since 2014
The NBA Playoffs on TNT continue to generate the network’s most-watched playoffs coverage since 2014.
WCF Game 1 Top Local Markets
Top local markets for last night’s Rockets/Warriors telecast – San Francisco (21.5 rating), Houston (14.7), New Orleans (11.6), Sacramento (10.8) and Birmingham (9.2).
Turner’s TVE Platform Sets Record Consumption
Watch TNT, Turner’s TV Everywhere platform for the network, generated an all-time record for total minutes of consumption during last night’s WCF Game 1.
Significant Growth Across Turner’s NBA Social Channels
Content published across NBA on TNT and NBA TV social channels has generated an 82% gain in video views and a 64% increase in engagements and compared to last year’s corresponding Conference Finals
TNT is home to more than 40 NBA Playoff games – the most of any network – including First Round and Conference Semifinals action and the exclusive presentation of the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals.
Report: Westbrook could return Sunday
Ruled out for tonight’s game with the Clippers, Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook could return to action Sunday against the Kings, ESPN reported on Friday.
Westbrook is close to returning and has been cleared for full contact drills and practice, but after an energetic workout after shootaround determined to sit Friday’s game. It’s looking likely Westbrook could be available against the Kings on a Sunday.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) October 19, 2018
Westbrook has been sidelined since Sept. 12 after an arthroscopic procedure to treat stiffness and inflammation in his right knee.
Westbrook averaged 25.4 points, 10.3 assists and 10.1 rebounds last season, his second straight with double-figures in all three categories. He’s been extremely durable during his career, playing at least 80 games in seven of his nine NBA seasons, and all 66 in the shortened 2011-12 campaign.
Chasity Melvin joins Hornets’ G League team coaching staff
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Chasity Melvin has been hired by the Charlotte Hornets’ G League team, the Greensboro Swarm, as an assistant coach.
She becomes the first female coach in Hornets and Swarm history.
The former North Carolina State standout was the 11th overall selection in the 1999 WNBA draft. She played 12 seasons in the WNBA and was an All-Star in 2001.
Melvin was part of the NBA Assistant Coaches Program, which prepares current and former NBA, WNBA and G League players for coaching careers. Former program participants include James Posey (Cavaliers), Jerry Stackhouse (Grizzlies) and Vin Baker (Bucks).
Her hire comes one day after Kristy Toliver became the first active WNBA player to become an NBA assistant when she joined the Washington Wizards.
Other female assistants in the NBA include Becky Hammon with the Spurs and Dallas’ Jenny Boucek.
Dwight Howard out for Wizards season opener with injured back
WASHINGTON (AP) — New Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard is sitting out the team’s season opener because of a lower-back injury.
Howard missed all of training camp and Washington’s entire exhibition schedule.
Coach Scott Brooks said before the Wizards hosted the Miami Heat on Thursday night that Ian Mahinmi would replace Howard in the starting lineup.
Brooks said that Howard is “getting close” to being able to play but is not “quite there yet.” The coach is not sure whether Howard will be available for Washington’s next game, at home against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
Howard was not absent because of injury even once last season while with the Charlotte Hornets. He played in 81 of 82 games, missing one because of suspension.
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