NBA ratings make huge gains
Adult males flock to ABC, ESPN, TNT
That’s the actual headline from the daily Variety .
According to Variety, “National TV audiences are flocking back to the NBA, led by double-digit gains in all the adult-male demographics on ABC, ESPN and TNT.”
ESPN’S NBA ratings are up a shocking 44% among its male 18 to 34-year-old viewers. That’s virtually unprecedented in tv broadcasting history.
Experts have several theories as to the sudden popularity of a league whose ratings have been declining for several years.
* The resurgence of two big market teams-the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers
* The NBA allowing the networks to use a flexible schedule and change their telecasts to more interesting games (Shaquille O’Neal’s debut with the Phoenix Suns for instance)
* Trade deadline dealing
* “The wild wild” Western Conference which one TNT exec pointed out has nine teams seperated by six games
* The 100 day tv writers strike. All those crappy reruns apparently “lowered the ratings of the competition.”
The NBA also generated a lot of goodwill following its charitable efforts at All Star Weekend in New Orleans.
Variety says this helped offset the negative publicity that came out of Las Vegas after last year’s All Star game.