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SBD/Issue 150/Sports Media
ABC, ESPN, TNT All Post Gains For Regular-Season NBA Coverage
Published April 23, 2009
ESPN's coverage of the '08-09 NBA regular season on ABC saw a 16% increase in viewers, as an average of 3,684,000 watched the net's 18 broadcasts this season, up from 3,175,000 for 19 broadcasts last year. The total makes the '08-09 regular season the most-viewed on ABC in six years. The NBA on ESPN averaged 1,680,000 viewers for 71 regular-season telecasts, which marks the net's most-viewed NBA regular-season ever and a 14% increase from 1,468,000 viewers for 70 telecasts in '07-08 (ESPN). TNT for its regular-season telecasts averaged a 1.1 cable rating, up 4% from '07-08, and also posted a 14% increase in total viewers (1,711,000 from 1,496,000 in '07-08) and a 5% increase in HHs (1,296,000 from 1,230,000 in '07-08) (TNT). Meanwhile, in Portland, John Canzano reported Tuesday's Rockets-Trail Blazers game earned a 27.5 local rating on KGW-NBC. But "more impressive" is that the game "had a 21.4 to 10.8 advantage locally over 'American Idol'" while both were on the air (OREGONLIVE.com, 4/22).
Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy Says He
Never Complains About NBA Schedule
COACHSPEAK: ESPN.com's Bill Simmons wrote in a "noble effort to give viewers more inside access than ever before, the NBA began allowing sideline reporters to interview each coach before the start of the second and fourth quarters." But with the exception of Lakers coach Phil Jackson, "who uses these moments as veiled psychological warfare, coaches greet these interludes with the enthusiasm of someone being frisked by an off-duty police officer." Simmons listed three issues he has with the interviews: coaches "getting pulled away during crucial times when ... they're supposed to be dispensing advice to their players;" sideline reporters dealing with the NBA's "unspoken ground rules," which means "every question inevitably revolves around the same three themes;" and that "as they tape these interviews, the coaches know employees from the opposing team will be watching the finished product, so they aren't exactly dying to spill secrets" (ESPN.com, 4/22).
Writer Feels Doug Collins Breaks
Game Down Better Than Any Analyst
STICK TO THE GAME: In Utah, Doug Robinson wrote, "Memo to networks: Please don't turn ballgames into 'Entertainment Tonight.' If we want to listen to talking heads fawning over celebs, we'll watch Fox News. Does any real sports fan enjoy the blurring of the line between Hollywood and professional sports?" Robinson wrote the NBA "not only goes along with this, it encourages it," as the NBA Web site "features a list of the Lakers' celebrity fans" (DESERET NEWS, 4/22).