SBD/12/Sports Media

PLAYOFF NOTES: SONIC BOOM OR BUST FOR NBC TONIGHT?

     The NBA Finals' Games 1, 2 and 3 propelled NBC to an overall
11.3 rating and a 21 share for last week.  The games held three
of the top five positions, joined by NBC's "Seinfeld" and "ER,"
with Game 1 ranking as the week's top-rated show (Josef Adalian,
N.Y. POST, 6/12).  In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes, while a
sweep is not the "preferred outcome," NBC "has reaped big-time
benefits from the Bulls' run to a title" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
6/12).
     ALL-INTERVIEW TEAM:  The NBA's Public Relations Directors
have named their all-interview team.  Charles Barkley is joined
by Jayson Williams, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson
and Sonics coach George Karl.  The second team features Derek
Harper, Doc Rivers, David Robinson, Grant Hill, Brian Williams,
Pacers coach Larry Brown and Kings coach Garry St. Jean.  Barkley
has made the team nine of its ten years of existence (NBA).
     NHL RATINGS:  The Panthers' final game drew "what is
believed to be the one of the largest cable audiences in South
Florida history," according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD.
The game drew a 19.8 on ESPN.  Noting that 69% of Miami-Ft.
Lauderdale homes have ESPN, Jackson figures if everyone in the
area had ESPN the local rating would have projected to a 28.6 --
higher than every '95 Dolphins game  except for a Monday night
against the Steelers.  Nationally, ESPN's rating was a 4.4.  For
the series, ESPN averaged a 3.6 for its two finals telecasts
(MIAMI HERALD, 6/12).  It was ESPN's third-highest rated NHL game
(N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  For perspective, USA TODAY's Michael
Hiestand notes that NASCAR averages a 4.8 rating on ESPN and that
Fox's 3.6 NHL playoff average was about one-third the rating for
Fox's primetime entertainment shows last June (USA TODAY, 6/12).
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