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MORE, MORE, MORE: NBC TO CONTINUE NBA COVERAGE TONIGHT
Published June 14, 1996
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).