SBD/7/Sports Media

CAN "DREAM MATCH-UP" BOOST NBC TO NEW NBA FINALS RECORD?

     In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes that it is "unlikely" that
the Magic-Rockets series will top the all-time ratings high of
17.3, set in '93 with the Bulls-Suns, but that the two teams
"appear to be a cinch to surpass" last year's Rockets-Knicks
final, which averaged a 12.3.  Rogers notes that neither team is
from a Top 10 market, while all four of the NHL's playoff teams
are in the Top 10 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/7).  In Milwaukee,
Michael Bauman notes that the only two not touting the match-up
as a two-man series --Hakeem vs. Shaq -- "are the primary
combatants themselves."  O'Neal:  "That's what NBC does to try to
get more viewers.  That's what a lot of people do.  It's part of
the business.  But it's really a team game, Orlando vs. Houston"
(MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/7).  The last half-hour of the
Magic's Game 7 win over the Pacers drew a 56.5 rating and a 72
share in Orlando (David Whitley, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/7).
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