SBD/2/Sports Media


     The NBA has signed a five-year agreement with Nielsen Media
Research through which the league will have access to a broad
range of national and local TV audience information.  For the
first time, the NBA will have access to customized marketing data
on broadcast and cable TV across Nielsen's national and local
services, on both a league and team-by-team basis.  NBA
Television Ventures President Ed Desser: "The Nielsen
relationship will help us understand the needs and desires of our
fans.  Also, we will be able to better serve advertisers,
networks, teams and other business partners."  Robert Taragan,
Exec VP/Marketing Nielsen Media Research:  "By this agreement,
Nielsen has literally broken the mold in how we deal with the
unique needs of modern sports and entertainment organizations
such as the NBA.  In order to be responsive to these
organizations, Nielsen has created a new Sports Marketing Service
capable of providing customized reports with open access to
information such as age, sex and income delivery that cuts across
all of Nielsen's national and local services" (Nielsen/NBA).
     NUTS AND BOLTS:  Nielsen spokesperson Jack Loftus told THE
SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that the NBA will not only have access to
information such as what age groups are watching NBA telecasts,
but also specially designed breakdowns of on demographics and
consumer attitudes.  For example, Nielsen could tell the NBA how
many many people watching games have not bought a car in more
than three years.  Loftus noted that 12 NBA teams subscribe to
the customized service on a local level.  Nielsen can track what
visiting teams or visiting superstars attract the biggest
audiences.  According to Loftus, the NBA came to Nielsen and
asked for a more customized service that cuts across all of the
various services Nielsen offers, such as ratings among different
ethnic groups.  Some of the data the NBA receives from Nielsen
will be made public, but more detailed numbers will not be
available.  Nielsen is also in discussions with the NFL, NHL and
NCAA.  They were in "very active discussions" with MLB, but the
labor strife has put those talks on hold.  Other clients to
Nielsen's Sports Marketing Service include a number of ad
agencies and major sponsors, ESPN, numerous TV stations and
regional cable networks (THE DAILY).
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