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NBA Regular Season Ratings Increased on ABC This Season

Brandon Contes

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While broadcast television ratings have been down across the board, the NBA has been an exception, generating positive viewership locally and nationally. According to Nielsen, the NBA on ABC audience was up 17% during the regular season.

ABC owns two presentations of NBA basketball, both of which were up by double digits in viewership. NBA Saturday Primetime averaged 3,338,000 viewers in its third season since ABC began televising the eight-game Saturday night slate. It was a 15 percent increase from the 2,948,000 viewers the series averaged last season.

The NBA Sunday Showcase on ABC averaged 2,947,000 viewers in its ninth season, the highest average for the Sunday schedule of games since the 2013-14 season. The Showcase was up 23% when compared to the 2,388,000 audience garnered last season.

ABC and ESPN combined to broadcast 12 of the 15 most viewed NBA games this season. ABC’s Christmas Day telecast between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers drew a season high 8,834,000 viewers. Viewership of the Warriors Cavalier Christmas day game was up from last year’s 8.82 million, but it should be noted this season’s game received a 5.5 market share, down from last season’s 5.9.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

FOX Says NFL Ad Sales Up From 2021, ‘Record Pricing’ Expected for Super Bowl LVII

“It’s obviously such a huge year for us,” Murdoch added later. “We’re looking forward to getting record pricing for the Super Bowl.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Super Bowl 57

FOX shared some lucrative news with investors on its quarterly earnings call on Wednesday. The network said sales for the NFL season are in a very short word: up.

FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch said “We sold more NFL Sunday advertising in the current upfront market than we did across Sunday and Thursday combined in the prior year’s market.”

He also went on to note that didn’t include commitments made for the network’s presentation of Super Bowl 57 in February.

“This excludes advertising commitments for the upcoming Super Bowl, where we are pacing well ahead of schedule and seeing very robust demand and record pricing levels.”

FOX began selling Super Bowl 57 ads last summer.

Murdoch didn’t share specific numbers regarding Super Bowl sales but in comparison, NBCUniversal sold 3-second spots for upwards of $7 million this last February.

“It’s obviously such a huge year for us,” Murdoch added later. “We’re looking forward to getting record pricing for the Super Bowl, and we’re well ahead of plan in terms of selling our Super Bowl positions.”

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Sports TV News

Potential Big Ten/ESPN Deal Did Not Include ESPN Plus Option

“I’ve been told ESPN’s deal did not include direct-to-consumer on ESPN+, it was a strict linear television deal.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN, BIG TEN

A shockwave went thru the sports media landscape on Tuesday when reports surfaced that the Big Ten would not be awarding a media rights deal with longtime partner ESPN. Since then, more details have come out about why the two might not be in business together after this season.

On The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, John Ourand added another piece of the puzzle that could offer some illumination. According to his reporting and sources, ESPN wanted to be able to offer Big Ten games on their direct-to-consumer streaming option, ESPN+ and the Big Ten didn’t receive that well.

“I’ve been told ESPN’s deal did not include direct-to-consumer on ESPN+, it was a strict linear television deal.”

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Sports TV News

Bill Spaulding to Become New Jersey Devils New TV Play-by-Play Voice

Spaulding will replace Steve Cangialosi on the MSG Network broadcasts.

Jordan Bondurant

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New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils will have a new TV play-by-play voice when the puck drops on the 2022-23 season in October.

According to sources, Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com reported the team has hired Bill Spaulding for the job. Spaulding will replace Steve Cangialosi on the MSG Network broadcasts.

Cangialosi left as the team’s play-by-play man at the end of this past season. He had been with the team for 11 seasons.

Spaulding is a Syracuse University grad and has previously called Olympic hockey, as well as college games, on NBC. Additionally, Spaulding has experience calling college sports for ESPN. He’s a recipient of the Jim Nantz Award, which is given each year to the nation’s top collegiate sportscaster.

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