SBD/July 20, 2012/Media

Jeremy Lin Signing Could Help Rockets Get More TV, Radio And Sponsorship Deals

Media experts think Lin will help with ad sales, distribution of CSN Houston
The best way to "launch a new channel or a new stadium is to sign a marquee player,” and G Jeremy Lin’s signing with the Rockets coincides with the team's "efforts to sign sponsors and radio affiliates to join their new flagship, KBME (790 AM), and as CSN Houston lobbies cable systems for carriage,” according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Bevilacqua Media Founder Chris Bevilacqua said, “It will definitely have a positive impact, especially since this is the rollout of a new regional sports network, so the timing is very good. Lin will bring real excitement and visibility to CSN’s distribution and advertising sales efforts.” Barron noted Lin’s presence “will almost certainly boost Nielsen ratings, which will boost ad revenue, which in turn will boost the Rockets and Astros, who together own 77.3 percent of CSN Houston.” The signing could also “help bring reluctant cable systems into line in the Rockets’ core telecast area.” Another key question is “whether even in areas where Rockets games cannot be seen live, Linsanity will be sufficient to convince cable operators in, say, Austin or Corpus Christi to pick CSN Houston so fans can follow the network’s Rockets news and feature shows.” If an outlying system “signs on in October rather than waiting for Astros season in March, it could mean several hundred thousand dollars, and maybe more, in added income for the networks and the teams.” However Lin’s signing “will have its tradeoffs.” Rockets Owner Les Alexander said, “I think (the Rockets) are going to be on national television a whole lot more this year.” That means “fewer games, and less ad revenue, on CSN Houston” (CHRON.com, 7/19).

HEIGHTENED INTEREST: In Houston, Jonathan Feigen noted media members “filled 70 news conference seats with at least as many lining the court” during Lin's formal introduction with the team Thursday. Lin during his time with the Knicks was in demand by major media networks, but in the days since his departure from N.Y. became possible, Lin’s reps “have received requests” from outlets including ESPN, CNN, “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “HBO Real Sports," “The Jim Rome Show” and “PTI.” Meredith Geisler, a publicist for Lin, said, “I thought his leaving New York might mean there’s not going to be interest. It’s heightened interest. ... Cal Ripken and the streak, that was the closest to this, but there are more media outlets now. This is bigger. This is far greater than any of that. If he agreed to everything, he would be doing this for the next two years” (CHRON.com, 7/20).
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