Some people are making a big deal about the NBA beating out the NFL last night in terms of nominal ratings last night, and by that measure, they’d be correct. The return of LeBron James to his old stomping grounds in Cleveland on TNT’s NBA coverage saw the network earn a 5.0 overnight rating last night. One ratings point represents roughly one million viewing households.
But consider that NFL Network reaches just a little more than half of the households that TNT reaches. NFL Network reaches about 56.3 million households, while TNT reaches 99.6 million. I did the math for you: TNT captured 5 percent of available households, while NFL Network managed 7.2 percent of same. So how big a ratings win was it for the NBA? I wouldn’t even say that it was a win at all.