SBD/April 12, 2013/Media

Recent Winning Streak, Division Title Could Mean Big Playoff TV Ratings For Knicks

ESPN aired 10 Knicks games this season, the maximum number they are allotted
The Knicks currently might be the "most popular active team" in N.Y., but the "intriguing question is how will the Knicks be received on the national stage" once the NBA playoffs begin, according to Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. It is unknown whether the Knicks will "move the TV ratings needle, or prove to be nothing more than a band of yokels whose accomplishments have been blown out of proportion." If the Knicks play the Celtics in the first round, the "rivalry" between the two teams, as well as the presence of Knicks F Carmelo Anthony going against Celtics Fs Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce should "make for a highly rated series." But should the Knicks draw the Derrick Rose-less Bulls or Hawks, it would "serve as a true test to determine if the Knicks are a legit national attraction." The Knicks made the "maximum number of appearances (10) on ESPN this season and registered" an average 1.4 rating and 1.73 million viewers, equal to the average rating for ESPN’s entire NBA regular-season schedule. But when a team has a "star who has not only performed like Anthony, but has intriguing story lines surrounding him and plays in the big New York market to boot, the Knicks’ ESPN ratings should have been higher." NBA Commissioner David Stern likely is just "glad the Knicks will be playing" in the playoffs. The N.Y. market "alone enhances the chance for above-average ratings." And with the Nets "coming to the party, the base of local viewers watching the playoffs will expand" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/12).
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