NBA TV Producing Record Ratings, Viewership
By John Consoli -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/30/2012 2:11:10 PM
Some will want to dismiss NBA TV as having not enough viewers to make a significant blip, but to sports advertisers, every little bit helps if the ad pricing is a slam dunk.
Clearly, advertisers on NBA TV are not paying the rates they are on the other telecast partners, but the results speak for themselves. Albeit on a much, much smaller viewer base, NBA TV's viewership for 73 live games is up 36% to 344,000 viewers per game. On a percentage basis that is higher than the 21% viewer increase at TNT, the 9% increase at ABC and the 6% increase at ESPN.
Other live game first quarter demo increases include: adults 18-34, up 50% to 108,000; adults 18-49, up 34% to 181,000; men 18-34, up 51% to 80,000; and men 18-49, up 35% to 138,000. The median age of the network is 34.9, the youngest of any sports network.
Beyond the averages, NBA TV's Fan Night game on March 13 featuring the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic delivered 643,000 total viewers, the ninth most-watched game in NBA TV's history. Clearly, matchups matter, and while NBA TV doesn't get first dibs of games ahead of the league's other TV partners, the results were encouraging.
In addition to more pure viewer interest in the NBA, another likely cause of the increase in viewership is that for the month of January-the first full month of coverage of this pro basketball season-NBA TV topped all cable networks in month over month U.S. distribution growth. NBA TV was available in 59.2 million homes in January 2012, compared to 55.8 million in December 2011, a 6% increase.
The network no doubt also got an assist from the carriage fee dispute between Time Warner Cable and MSG Network. From Jan. 1 to mid-February, Time Warner replaced MSG with NBA TV on its digital sports tier.
The net-net is that live game viewership on NBA TV rose significantly, and advertisers have to be pleased-so much so that, despite the network's size compared to the league's other partners, NBA TV has been able to garner lots of new advertisers. More than 30 new advertisers have joined NBA TV for the current season, including Acura, American Airlines, Ford, LG Electronics, Sprint, Reebok and Wendy's.
That number is on top of 70 new advertisers who joined the network last season, and on top of 40 new advertisers the prior year. Turner Sports has been selling advertising for NBA TV since 2008, when Turner assumed responsibility for programming, marketing and technical operations for the network.
NBA TV is planning comprehensive coverage of the NBA playoffs, including live first-round game telecasts, studio coverage with pre- and post-game analysis, post-game press conferences and replays of every playoff game.
For advertisers looking to reach a younger, committed, targeted male audience, NBA TV seems like a solid buy for the remainder of the season.
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more