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NBC GOES FROM NBA FINALS BONANZA TO NATIONAL GOLF SPOTLIGHT
Published June 16, 1995
The NBA Finals on NBC earned a 13.9 national rating and a 25 share, making it the 8th highest rated Finals in NBA history, according to NBC Sports. The 13.9 rating represents a 12% increase over the '94 Finals. Overall, the 24 playoff telecasts on NBC yielded a 8.1 national rating, 13% higher than '94 (NBC Sports). NBC Sports VP of Communications Ed Markey: "If this had gone to seven games, who knows what the numbers would have been?" The Michael Jackson interview on ABC on Wednesday hurt the NBA's numbers. Michael and Lisa Marie got a 25.9 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/16). "ET" noted that the Jackson interview garnered twice the ratings of the NBA Finals ("ET," 6/15). ON TO GOLF: NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open has received much attention, mainly because it is the first time the network has carried the tournament since '65. In the last ten years, U.S. Open ratings have ranged between 4.3 and 6.5 (Prentis Rogers, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/16). From NBC lead analyst Johnny Miller, "a promise that he will not be a loose-lipped as usual" (Doug Carlson, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/16). Miller, 48, has a decision to make this fall about returning to NBC with the Senior Tour looming. Miller: "It's the hardest decision I'll ever have to make. One part of me doesn't want to announce and one part of me says, 'If you don't do it, who will?' But the Senior Tour needs all the big names it can get." NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol: "Even if Johnny plays the Senior Tour, he'll still have a significant involvement with us" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 6/16). On the 7th and 11th holes, NBC will employ video game- like 3D animation to provide viewers with a sense of the contours of the greens. NBC Sports Exec Producer Tommy Roy: "It'll look almost like a real green" (Rob Longley, TORONTO SUN, 6/16).