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Final numbers for the first three games puts the Thunder-Heat series as ABC's most-watched NBA Finals, averaging 16.1 million viewers per game. The three-game 9.7 average rating is up 7% over last year's 9.1 and is up 5% in viewership compared to last year's three-game average. The 9.7 average rating is the highest since Pistons-Lakers in '04. Sunday night's Thunder-Heat Game Three recorded an 8.8 rating (NBA).
BORDER WARS: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Michael O'Connell noted ABC "continues to batter the competition with its coverage of the NBA finals" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 6/18). In Atlanta, Tim Tucker noted the city "ranked No. 9 among the nation’s 56 major television markets in the Nielsen ratings for the first three games" of the NBA Finals. Of the eight markets that have posted "higher ratings than Atlanta for the Heat-Thunder series so far, four are in the territories of the participating teams: Oklahoma City (43.5 rating), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (30.2), Tulsa (26.6) and West Palm Beach (18.1)." The only other markets "topping Atlanta in the ratings are Cleveland (17.8), Memphis (15.6), New Orleans (14.0) and San Antonio (14.0)." Listed below are the 10 markets that have posted the highest Nielsen ratings through the first three games of the NBA Finals (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 6/19).
MARKETRATING MARKETRATING Oklahoma City43.5 Memphis15.6 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale30.2 New Orleans14 Tulsa26.6 San Antonio14 West Palm Beach18.1 Atlanta13.6 Cleveland17.8 Chicago13.5
INTERNATIONAL SENSATION: Announcer Kaan Kural, who is part of more than a dozen foreign broadcast teams, said that fans in Turkey "set their alarms to get up at 3 or 4 a.m. to watch the games live." Kural said that Turkish interest "skyrocketed after [Magic F] Hedo Turkoglu began playing in the NBA." Kural: "It's probably the most watched event after soccer events." In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis notes the video footage that is "seen throughout the world comes from the basic feed produced by ABC." That is "processed for international distribution in a truck crammed with monitors outside the arena by NBA Entertainment." The most "sophisticated and interactive foreign coverage is provided by China's CCTV, which gives fans a chance to vote up to three times per game on its website CNTV.cn as to which player they want the 'Star Cam' isolation camera to focus on." India's Ten Sports is "broadcasting onsite and also chronicling the experiences of two fans who won trips to the Finals through the 'NBA's Biggest Fan' trivia program" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 6/19). Meanwhile, the NBA announced that the Philippines topped the list of countries following the league on Facebook and Twitter outside the U.S. and China. The top five countries following the NBA on each website are below (NBA).TOP FIVE ON FACEBOOKTOP FIVE ON TWITTERPhilippinesPhilippinesTurkeyIndonesiaIndonesiaBrazilMexicoU.K.FranceIndia
PILOT PROGRAM: In Oklahoma City, Lillie-Beth Brinkman notes a new pilot program between the Army Reserve’s Employee Partnership Office and the NBA "debuted in Oklahoma City for the Finals and continued in Miami, Fla., with reservists there this week." The Army Reserve’s employment office "helps armed forces personnel who are finishing their military commitments find work, and the NBA needed technical help for the Finals." NBA VP/Operations & Engineering Mike Ricosa said that the skills the reservists developed in the military "made a perfect fit for the skills the video production team needed in the arena" (OKLAHOMAN, 6/19).
SCORING TICKETS: In Miami, Adam Beasley writes under the header, "Tickets To NBA Finals Can Be Found ... Even Below Face Value," and describes his search for tickets on the secondary market. Beasley writes after walking around downtown Miami before Game Three, he "finally broke down and did what I should have all along: I pulled up the StubHub mobile app on my iPhone." Beasley: "I had monitored prices on the second-hand ticket website throughout the day, and they had steadily fallen because of a glut. At 10 a.m., the cheapest get-in was $160 (before fees), but that had dipped to as low as $75 by around 6 p.m. Problem was, I only wanted one seat, and finding one wasn’t easy. ... Finally, at 7:23 p.m. I found what I thought was the perfect opportunity: $120 (plus a hefty $27 in fees) for Section 417, Row 13, Seat 4. I pulled the trigger, and bought the ticket. ... I got in the door for $147, a savings of nearly $80" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/19).
TALKING POINTS: Last night’s ESPN’s “Around The Horn” discussed in the show’s “Buy or Sell” segment the recent interviews of NBA Commissioner David Stern with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon on Monday night and CBS Sports Network’s Jim Rome last Wednesday afternoon. ESPN’s Tony Reali noted of the interviews, “Two different responses to questions about the NBA Lottery. The response to Rome making the most headlines, I think you can say. ‘Buy or sell’ Stern in the last week?” Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, “I sell -- The way he handled both interviews in regard to the one yesterday (with Wilbon) the fact that he was referring to the Lottery as ‘delicious’ and ‘delightful’ in regard to the response people had, and the fact that he went on Jim Rome and responded to the question by saying, ‘When did you stop beating his wife?’ That’s an old world reference I don’t think a lot of people get and he should be above the fray and not be using language like that.” Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw: “I’m fine with it. I thought he gave sarcastic answers to a sarcastic line of questioning that started with Jim Rome asking if the Lottery was fixed. How are you supposed to take those kind of questions seriously and then he gave much better answers to better questions from Michael Wilbon.” ESPN’s Michael Smith was “buying” Stern’s behavior in these two interviews because “both questions were asked very differently and therefore elicited very different responses” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 6/18).
BRAND REPUBLIC's Maisie McCabe reported England's "dramatic victory over Sweden on Friday night hit a peak audience of 16.2 million viewers on BBC One, the biggest audience for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament so far." An average of 13.27 million people tuned into BBC One and BBC One HD between 7:45-9:45pm BST. The peak number was greater than the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert, which “averaged 14.7 million” viewers. England's June 11 game against France, shown on ITV1, "pulled in a peak of 15.3 million viewers and an average of 12.3 million" (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 6/18). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Scott Roxborough noted 27.7 million viewers "watched the German side beat Denmark 2-1 on public broadcaster ARD, a 74.2 percent market share and the highest ratings in Germany for any game of the tournament so far.” Roxborough wrote, “The impact of Euro 2012 was evident even when the German squad wasn’t playing. 11.3 million Germans tuned in Friday night to watch England beat Sweden 3-2, and 11.6 million watched the Czech Republic knock out Poland 1-0 in its primetime match Saturday night” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 6/18).
MULTIPURPOSE VENUE: Yesterday afternoon’s edition of ESPN2’s “UEFA Euro 2012” featured a tour of the Italian media area at the Euro Cup tournament. ESPN’s Bob Ley said, “There are press centers, a place to go to get a cup of coffee, maybe a sandwich, plug in your computer, watch the games -- fairly basic. Fairly basic, (until) you get to the Italian press center.” ESPN’s Alicia Ferguson said the press center, called the “Casa Azzurri,” has “absolutely everything.” Ferguson: “How many places do you know -- media centers -- that have their own restaurant?” The floor of the “sponsors’ room” is cleared after games and “there’s traditional Italian music” and “authentic Polish music” as the “place turns into a night club, basically.” There are TVs, video games, table soccer, two bars, two press conference rooms and a “sizable media work area” for the Italian media. Ley said of the show's studio, “We don’t have a disco ball yet overhead” (“UEFA Euro 2012,” ESPN2, 6/18).
OVER AT SBD GLOBAL: For more on Euro '12 global TV ratings, see yesterday's issue of SBD Global, which had comprehensive numbers from England, Germany, France and Spain (THE DAILY).
In S.F., Vivian Ho reports longtime talk-show host Ralph Barbieri yesterday filed suit against KNBR-AM, saying that the station "fired him because of his age and disabilities." In a lawsuit filed in S.F. Superior Court, Barbieri claimed that KNBR-AM and its owner, Cumulus Media, "wrongfully terminated him in April after discovering he had Parkinson's disease and Type 2 diabetes." From '96 "until he was fired," he hosted the station's 3:00-7:00pm PT show (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/19).
SOCIAL HOUR: In K.C., Katy Bergen noted, "For the first time at any All-Star game, Kansas City will operate a social media command center in the H&R Block World Headquarters, overlooking the Power and Light District." K.C. Mayor's Office Communications Dir Danny Rotert said that teams of 10 volunteers "will research and respond to social media user's posts, and share information about events and announcements." He added that by tracking and mapping "what people in Kansas City are talking about during the July festivities, the center can keep tabs on potential city-wide emergencies or issues with transit and traffic" (K.C. STAR, 6/19).
STREAMLINED: Nielsen this summer will attempt to "track the eyeballs glued to Comcast's Xfinity TV app on an iPad." Comcast Senior VP/Digital & Emerging Platforms Matt Strauss said, "We think this is going to be a critical piece because to be platform agnostic, we need as an industry to have measurement across all these platforms." Such measurement now "appears to be a sure bet primarily because advertisers are demanding it" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 6/19).
SCORING THE KEY DEMO: MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds noted GolTV "scored big with its coverage of the FIFA friendly between Argentina and Brazil." The service "saw its rating among the key persons 18-to-49 demo grow 30% higher on June 9 than its previous best FIFA game" (MULTICHANNEL.com, 6/15).
TEAM NOTES: The Hurricanes signed their three broadcasters to new, multiyear contracts. John Forslund will begin his 18th season as the team's TV play-by-play voice in '12-13, and Tripp Tracy will join him as color analyst for the duo's 14th season together. Chuck Kaiton will continue as the franchise's only radio play-by-play man (Hurricanes)....The Wizards and Capitals won a combined three Capital Emmy awards last week. The documentary series "Caps Red Line" and "Wizards Magazine -- The Journey" each won Emmys for Best Sports Program/Series, while "Wizards Magazine" won the Emmy in the category of Best Sports Editing (Monumental Sports).