SBD/14/Sports Media

MORE, MORE, MORE: NBC TO CONTINUE NBA COVERAGE TONIGHT

     NBC, which is selling 30-second ad spots for an average of
$300,000 during the NBA Finals, would miss out on at least $15M
in potential ad revenue if the Bulls win the NBA Championship
tonight, according to the N.Y. POST.  Rights fees for NBC's four-
year contract with the NBA, which runs through '98, are based on
each postseason series averaging five games.  According to one ad
exec who works with NBC, sponsors received "multi-million
dollars" when the Bulls swept the Magic in the Eastern Conference
Finals.  NBC would have suffered a similar loss if the Bulls had
swept the Sonics.  The network figures to "break even" if the
Bulls win tonight, but would profit if the series is extended.
While over the length of a four-year deal, the "gains and losses"
from a single game are "less clear," NBC Sports VP Ed Markey
notes, "There would be an impact if for four years all the
conference championships and the Finals were sweeps" (Mark
McLaughlin, N.Y. POST, 6/14).  Rudy Martzke notes a Game 5 is
worth $10M to NBC.  On the Sonics' win that forced Game 5, NBC
Sports President Dick Ebersol joked: "All the accountants at NBC
have severe hangovers after a wild night of partying" (USA TODAY,
6/14).
     A RATINGS GAME: Michael Hirsley writes from Chicago that
NBC's 18.1 national rating for Game 4 was up 21% from last year's
Game 4, and the Bulls/Sonics average for four games is 16.1.
That is second only to the '93 Bulls/Suns Finals, which averaged
a 17.1 through four games.  Hirsley also notes SportsChannel and
CNBC have been "locked in local cable ratings battles."  CNBC's
ratings have ranged from .2 to 3.2, while SportsChannel has done
between 1.7 and 8.6.  NBA Research shows ratings on Mexico's TV-
Azteca are 17.4, representing 2.5 million viewers, nearly triple
last year's audience.  In Canada, CTV's 4.4 rating represents
500,000 viewers and a 62% increase from '95 (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
6/14).
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