SBD/25/Sports Media

NBA PLAYOFF PRIMER: TURNER, NBC READY FOR THE RIDE

     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).
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