SBD/November 11, 2011/Media

NBA Lockout Watch, Day 134: Boston Media Copes With Lack of NBA Programming

CSN New England is airing old Celtics games during current NBA lockout
The NBA lockout could be a "blowout loss for television and radio stations" that carry games, "driving away hundreds of thousands of viewers and lucrative ad revenues," according to Johnny Diaz of the BOSTON GLOBE. The Celtics “are a reliable ratings bonanza” for Comcast SportsNet New England, which last season drew 149,000 viewers for the Celtics' home opener against the Bucks on Nov. 3. On the “most comparable night this year -- Wednesday, Nov. 2, when the Celtics were scheduled to play the Cleveland Cavaliers -- SportsNet drew only 9,400 viewers.” CSN New England currently is “running old Celtics contests with commentary from NBA personalities” like Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers. A 30-second spot during a Celtics game on CSN New England “can cost from $2,500 to $4,000.” But a source said that a spot on an “off night will command only hundreds of dollars.” CSN New England Exec VP & GM Bill Bridgen said that he “has been converting advertisers such as Nissan Motor Co., which bought ads during canceled Celtics games, to other shows on his network’s schedule.” Meanwhile, WEEI-AM VP/Programming & Operations Jason Wolfe, whose radio station has carried Celtics games since ‘05, said that the station is having sports talk host Mike Adams “run longer on what would have been Celtics game nights.” Diaz writes it is “difficult to measure how many more people tune in for game nights” on the radio, as radio ratings measurement firm Arbitron “does not provide numbers for a single night” (BOSTON GLOBE ,11/11).
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