Wednesday, June 15, 2005
RANDOM RANTINGS: NBA Action...It's....Let's See, What Else is On...?
The NBA Finals (on ABC), which are now assured of a fifth game, don't seem to matter to anyone outside of Detroit or San Antonio. "Dancing With The Stars," which also airs on ABC, is outdrawing the NBA Finals by an average of five million viewers per telecast. It speaks to the fact that the NBA has missed the mark somewhere along the way: either it has marketed itself too much to an urban audience, such that mid-America has lost interest; or this matchup of the two teams who have dominated the NBA without storylines the last three years is just not all that interesting. Granted, the first three games have ended with one-sided scores.
Now, toss in the threat of a July 1 lockout of NBA players if there's no new collective bargaining agreement, and you have the possibility of huge long-term impact:
Without an NBA schedule, radio broadcasters like KHTK-1140 Sacramento who depend on the Kings for a huge slice of their ratings could end up losing huge audience shares. Less impacted would be KNRB-680 San Francisco, which doesn't draw huge numbers with Warriors games. Sacramento's Comcast SportsNet came into existence with Kings games as the backbone of an otherwise anemic program schedule. The loss of the NBA for any length of time could prove devastating to this nascent franchise.
The NBA and its players need to get their act together and FAST. Get a deal done, and get the audience back on your side with an new marketing strategy that gets butts in the seats and eyes on TV screens. Remember what happened to the NHL?
Hell, does anyone even remember the NHL?