Basketball playoffs pace TNT to cable ratings win

|By:, SA News Editor

TNT (TWX +0.1%) toppled Fox News from the top spot in prime-time cable ratings, though it likely has more to do with postseason basketball than an O'Reilly-less O'Reilly Factor.

The Turner network averaged 2.9M viewers, thanks to NBC Playoffs programs that filled up six of the top 10 programs for the week -- spots No. 2 (Boston vs. Chicago, drawing 4.2M viewers) through No. 7 (San Antonio vs. Memphis, with 3.4M viewers). The overall top program was ESPN's (DIS +1.3%) broadcast of Golden State vs. Portland, with 4.3M viewers.

Fox News (FOX +0.5%, FOXA +0.9%) averaged 2.2M viewers, while its top-rated show was hosted by guest hosts. O'Reilly was permanently dismissed last week, and Tucker Carlson assigned to his time slot starting this week.

Tied for third were MSNBC (CMCSA +1.3%) and HGTV (SNI +0.6%) with 1.4M viewers; tied behind them were TBS, ESPN and USA Network, with 1.2M viewers each.

On a 24-hour basis, Fox News led, followed by TNT, Nickelodeon (VIA +0.7%, VIAB +0.5%), HGTV and Adult Swim.