Quote of the Day
“Just like we have tough seasons, our partners have tough times and we aren’t going to turn our back on our partners."
-- White Sox VP & CMO Brooks Boyer, on the team keeping its partnership with BP despite the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (CNBC.com, 6/2).
Game One of the NBA Finals tips off tonight and ESPN execs are banking that the marquee Celtics-Lakers matchup will deliver their guarantee to advertisers of a 9.0 rating on ABC, the same guarantee for last year’s Lakers-Magic Finals. That series ended up averaging an 8.4 rating and 14.3 million viewers. In '08, when the Celtics beat the Lakers in the Finals, the six-game series averaged a 9.3 rating with 14.9 million viewers. The heavily hyped historical matchup comes after the league’s Conference Finals saw a double-digit percentage drop this postseason on ABC, ESPN and TNT, despite two six-game series with popular teams. For the entire playoffs, each of the NBA's TV partners has seen year-over-year declines from the record-setting '09 postseason, so clearly the league and ESPN are hoping a storied rivalry jumpstarts the numbers. Meanwhile, network officials say ad sales are virtually sold out and running ahead of last year, with strong buys from the auto, wireless and movie studio categories driving sales.
Fun And Games
EA Sports again out in front in support of Tiger Woods with new ad aimed at showing him “in a more relaxed light.”
BP name, logo to still be prominent during Cubs-White Sox series despite ongoing oil spill.
Bringing The Heat
Strasburg-mania ramping up as Versus airs minor league finale, MLB Net to show Nats debut.
Racing In The Street
Baltimore Grand Prix officially a go under five-year deal that begins next year.
Was the ’04 Summer Games the culprit that has led to Greece’s financial chaos?
Dealing With Father Time
Padres optimistic about 3:35pm start times despite first four games not attracting large crowds.
Just A Minor Variation
Central, Int'l Hockey Leagues reach agreement to merge, form "AA" league.
Pinstripes Are So Last Season
Six Yankees players unveil unique apparel designs as part of MLBPA series.