Oh… Of Course… Largest Aggregation Of Fans. Duh! | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Oh… Of Course… Largest Aggregation Of Fans. Duh!

David Stern was asked to explain the late start times for the NBA Finals.

"The ad rates only go up if the ratings go up," Stern said when pressed if ad dollars were a driving factor behind the late tip-offs. "The ratings only go up if there are more people watching and so NFL's Monday Night Football, they moved it to 8 p.m. starts and fewer people watched. So they moved it to 9 because that's where they were going to get the largest audience."

Stern was then asked why the Super Bowl was scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start if the numbers showed more people tuned into NBA Finals games at the later hour.

"I don't know," Stern replied after a pause. "I don't know why. I don't know why … we have had three networks, CBS, ABC, and NBC who have told us that despite the maniacal rantings of East Coast radio, that we would get the largest aggregation of our fans if we do it as close to 9 p.m. as possible."

Here's the translation:

Advertisers dictate everything in the NBA.  Those advertisers don't really care about the kids, because they're selling their products to the adults.  They're selling trucks and beer.  The kids stuff gets sold on Saturday mornings.  So to get the most adults that make enough money to buy stuff (oh…. like the 25-54 age group), the games start at a time where most of them will get a chance to watch TV.  That's 6pm Pacific (even the late ones will tune in by the second quarter) and 9pm Eastern (the West Coast stragglers will make up for the "gotta get to bed at 11" crowd).  

So that's that.  Now… the only people out there that can make a difference are those of you with ratings boxes.  I assume most, if not all, of us can watch the game an not affect the ratings because we don't have the ratings boxes.

BUT… if any of you DO have a box… you CAN make a difference.  Watch the games at a friend's house or a bar.  The ratings will show that you (and the thousands of people your ratings box entry represents) didn't tune into the game.  Obviously… you did tune in.  But the box doesn't know that.  The box registers that the game was off. 

It literally takes only a few people to shave full ratings points off the final numbers.  It would be nice if that could happen… just to send the NBA a little message.

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  • Chruce

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Stern is attempting to cater to the largest audience. Although your argument about children watching games does carry some weight, I would say reaching the highest number of fans carries more. What has more value, a thirteen year old watching the game on the east coast, or two mid-thrties guys getting out of work on the west coast stopping by a bar and watching the game? If even one adult gets hooked then it’s better for the league. The adult has more purchasing power and is more likely to go to a game. How is that bad?
    I would reason the more people watching total the better it is for the league. Independent of any additional revenue they would receive.