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NBA PLAYOFF PRIMER: TURNER, NBC READY FOR THE RIDE
Published April 25, 1996
The NBA's national cable outlets, TNT and TBS, head into the playoffs with average season ratings up 22% (2.0, the highest average since '89-90), and NBC says when it releases its ratings today, it will "equal or better" last year's 5.2 average (Tim Tyers, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/25). NBC will carry at least 22 NBA playoff games, and as many as 35 (NBC Sports). In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes that, despite the recent "rash" of referee- baiting incidents in the NBA, both Turner and NBC "seemed assured of having another great playoff run" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/24). JAZZ-OUT: In Salt Lake, Scott Pierce notes the Jazz will not be on national TV: "It's all about ratings. And it's the reason the Jazz made no regular-season appearances on NBC at all" (DESERET NEWS, 4/24). MICHAEL'S DAY OFF: In Baltimore, Milton Kent notes that Michael Jordan was excused from a scheduled pre-playoff telephone news conference, "citing an unspecified emergency." Kent notes past Jordan snubs and Bulls Coach Phil Jackson's observation -- "The emergency is the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day in Chicago." He writes, "Jordan has repeatedly shown disdain for any media-related function that doesn't directly lead to feathering his already bloated financial nest" (Baltimore SUN, 4/25).