Turner Hoping For Strong Viewership For NBA All-Star Weekend
Turner Sports is banking that its strong ratings during the first half of the NBA season will bring an increase in viewership for All-Star Weekend, which includes 19 hours of coverage beginning with tonight's T-Mobile Rookie Challenge. Clippers F Blake Griffin is the first player to compete in all three All-Star events with the Rookie game on Friday, the Sprite Slam Dunk contest on Saturday and Sunday's All-Star Game. He is also the first rookie All-Star selection since Rockets C Yao Ming in '03.
TNT will also air three original shows with the NBA All-Star Game at 60: a live one-hour program highlighting past games and All-Stars, a Lost Dunks show featured dunks from past Slam Dunk contests, and a fantasy draft show hosted by TNT' Charles Barkley Steve Kerr, Kenny Smith, Kevin McHale, Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith.
Meanwhile, USA Today is is running an eight-page NBA All-Star preview section featuring ads from league sponsors T-Mobile and Haier, as well as a full-page ad depicting LeBron James as part of "Be More Than :26," an initiative from State Farm and America's Promise Alliance to raise awareness about high school drop-out rates.