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Thread: Local NBA TV ratings

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Local NBA TV ratings

    We often talk about attendance, but I also think local TV ratings are worth looking at. This is for this past regular season through February

    http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/...l-nba-ratings/


    February 24th, 2009 Posted in Media And Entertainment, Nielsen News, Sports | Discuss
    The Cleveland Cavaliers were the top-rated local NBA market in the first half of the season, according to an analysis released today by The Nielsen Company.

    Cleveland led all NBA markets in the U.S. with an 8.1 local household rating. It’s a significant 119% jump for LeBron James and the Cavs, which ranked 9th through the first half of last season with a 3.7 rating.

    The San Antonio Spurs, who boasted the NBA’s top-rated local market last season through as recently as the first month of this season, still showed an 18% year-to-year increase in its local ratings. On average, 7.9% of TV households in the San Antonio market have tuned in to see Tim Duncan & Co. each game, compared to 6.7% over the same time period last year.

    The Portland Trailblazers’ first full season with Greg Oden is generating plenty of renewed interest among its fans. The Portland market ranked third through the All-Star break with a 5.6 household rating, 27% higher than the first half of last year.

    TOP-10 LOCAL NBA MARKETS, BY HOUSEHOLD RATINGS

    RANK TEAM/MARKET 2008-09 HH RATING 2007-08 HH RATING % CHANGE
    1 Cleveland 8.1 - 3.7 - 119%
    2 San Antonio 7.9 - 6.8 - 16%
    3 Portland 5.6 - 4.4 - 27%
    4 Utah 5.6 - 6.3 -11%
    5 L.A. Lakers 4.7 - 4.2 - 12%
    6 Boston 4.0 - 3.6 - 11%
    7 Detroit 3.8 - 5.6 - 32%
    8 Phoenix 3.8 - 5.0 - 24%
    9 Houston 2.6 - 2.5 - 4%
    10 Chicago 2.6 - 2.5 - 4%
    source: The Nielsen Company 2009


    Other local market highlights in the NBA this year:

    The Indiana Pacers showed the most year-to-year ratings increase through the All-Star break. The Pacers have tripled their ratings from 0.6 last year to 1.8 this year. New Orleans - led by superstar Chris Paul - saw its ratings climb 160%.
    The NBA’s two largest markets - New York and Los Angeles - have maintained the growth trend that was started earlier this year. The Knicks are up 18%, while the Lakers are up 12% and the Clippers are up 43%.



    http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/...local-numbers/
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 05-26-2009 at 09:27 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Is this good in any sense? It might seen likely that more people watching NBA on TV today will lead to devout, ticket-buying fans in the future. But I don't think that is proven. More people are watching House than ever before, too, but they aren't also getting medical degrees or becoming wiser about their health.

    Buck gives clear evidence that TV ratings are up. I just don't know what it means.
    And I won't be here to see the day
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    International Counter bellisimo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    while some can say that it could lead to devout, ticket-buying fans...one could also make a case that most of the "regular" devout fans are no longer buying tickets and are just watching the games on TV instead of actually going to a game...

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisimo View Post
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    while some can say that it could lead to devout, ticket-buying fans...one could also make a case that most of the "regular" devout fans are no longer buying tickets and are just watching the games on TV instead of actually going to a game...
    That's what I immediately thought as well. With the economy in the condition it's in, is it any surprise that TV ratings are up?

    People reason that if they're already paying for cable and the games are on cable, why pay additional money for tickets when they can just stay at home and watch the game?
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmenace View Post
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    That's what I immediately thought as well. With the economy in the condition it's in, is it any surprise that TV ratings are up?

    People reason that if they're already paying for cable and the games are on cable, why pay additional money for tickets when they can just stay at home and watch the game?
    Comparing the number of ticket buyers vs TV watchers isn't a fair comparison. A 2 thousand increase in attendance is a good increase, a 2,000 increase in the number of people watching your games on TV even in a small market such as Indy isn't statistically significant. So I don't agree with the idea that a poor economy means lower attendance therefore those people who might normally go to the games - are instead watching on TV (I mean that is likely happening) but that possible increase isn't significant to ompact TV ratings

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    I've always wondered if NBA teams reap any rewards from NBA TV proceedes based upon ratings or something else, or does the major TV providers, DirecTV, TWC, Comcast, etc., get all the money. Does anyone know?
    Last edited by Noodle; 05-26-2009 at 11:10 AM.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by EmCeE View Post
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    I've always wondered if NBA teams reap any rewards from NBA TV proceedes based upon ratings or something else, or does the major TV providers, DirecTV, TWC, Comcast, etc., get all the money. Does anyone know?
    I don't have a ton of information on this. I do know that the larger markets get a more local TV and local radio revenue than do the smaller markets.

    If you just look at the list. 7.8 rating in San Antonio sounds good. But 7.8% of lets just use 1 Million people is not nearly as good as 4.7% of 10M people - like LA. So the Lakers probably get 10X more local money from TV and radion than so the Spurs.

    Someone posted a year ago or so that the pacers basically don't get any money for local TV - they pay to have the games on and I suppose the pacers get the ad revenue (which is offset to some degree by the fees the pacers pay to have the games on).

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Well, the pessimist in me might say that people stayed home and watched the Pacers on TV because they couldn't afford to go out and do anything else.

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Is this good in any sense? It might seen likely that more people watching NBA on TV today will lead to devout, ticket-buying fans in the future. But I don't think that is proven. More people are watching House than ever before, too, but they aren't also getting medical degrees or becoming wiser about their health.

    Buck gives clear evidence that TV ratings are up. I just don't know what it means.
    I think you can make some assumptions on second principle... people in Indiana are paying more attention to the Pacers than they did last year, and the more people that pay attention to the team, the more opportunities this creates to fill seats for live attendance.

    If I were to guess, the typically supportive NBA community in Indiana is being reawakened, and they're watching on TV to see whether the team has really in fact turned around. I think it's a safe assumption to predict that attendance will be up next year.

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    It makes sense that attendance is a lagging indicator. TV ratings will increase first. If you are a casual fan who decided 3 years ago to give up following the Pacers. If at some point you decide maybe I should give them another try - the first thing ypou will do is watch them on TV before buying a ticket to a game.

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    It makes sense that attendance is a lagging indicator. TV ratings will increase first. If you are a casual fan who decided 3 years ago to give up following the Pacers. If at some point you decide maybe I should give them another try - the first thing ypou will do is watch them on TV before buying a ticket to a game.
    Maybe these numbers suggest just that. You could be right. Last season was exciting despite the losing, for me. Towards the end we started winning and people started showing up to the games. I never made a game, but could tell on TV fans were into those games like I was. I haven't seen that in quite some time. Hopefully, these numbers suggest a good start next year, and we could get some fans back in the Fieldhouse.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by docpaul
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    I think it's a safe assumption to predict that attendance will be up next year.
    Quote Originally Posted by UncleBuck
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    It makes sense that attendance is a lagging indicator.
    Both these comments are reasonable. But I could also be convinced that once people have subscribed to premium cable channels that deliver the game to the comfort of their couch, with several camera angles, instant replay and Stacy Paetz, they might never want to trade that for a plastic seat with a view blocked by the backboard, silly promotional trike races duringt timeouts, and being loomed over by skuzzy cotton-candy guy.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
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    But they never had much use for me
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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    You have to work awfully hard to not make this good news.

    Both attendance and viewership was up. How much of the increased viewership translates into more attendance and how quickly that happens remains to be seen. However, I don't know how you can't see this as a sign of increased interest in the Pacers.

    The style of basketball is more entertaining to the casual fan, and the players are more likable. However, in order to sustain the interest long term and significantly grow both attendance and viewership, the Pacers still have to do one thing.

    Win.

    All that being said, this is positive news.

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Viewership being up is the only positive sign here. Our attendance was up due primarily to the extremely deep discounts that were being offered to get people to come to the games. Even my ticket rep Dave Neff (probably former ticket rep, at this point) told me during my negotiations regarding the '09-'10 season that without those discounts, which he claims would not have happened without corporate sponsorship btw, nobody would have come.

    My point to him during our negotiations was that the existing season ticket holders really got taken advantage of due to not receiving either outright rebates of the difference (which I never thought would happen) or credit toward future ticket purchases in an amount that would offset the unreceived discounts for the '08-'09 season. His only response to that was, "Didn't you enjoy the atmosphere more due to the better attendance?" I told him that, while I respect the need to increase attendance, the blatant disregard for the full price support that I as a season ticket holder have given the franchise for 10 years, including full price $96 club seats for the last three seasons when this year there frequently were non-season ticket holders in the row immediately behind me who paid between $10 and $30 for the same class of seat in the same section. He basically blew me off, saying the discount to $75 on those seats for next year should be sufficient to compensate for the discounts. In reality, that is not even close. I'm sure that I am not the only person who feels this way, and I am also willing to bet that corporately held tickets will decline for this next season as well, though not as much as they might have without on the court franchise improvements that are underway, and have been for the last year.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    Viewership being up is the only positive sign here. Our attendance was up due primarily to the extremely deep discounts that were being offered to get people to come to the games. Even my ticket rep Dave Neff (probably former ticket rep, at this point) told me during my negotiations regarding the '09-'10 season that without those discounts, which he claims would not have happened without corporate sponsorship btw, nobody would have come.

    My point to him during our negotiations was that the existing season ticket holders really got taken advantage of due to not receiving either outright rebates of the difference (which I never thought would happen) or credit toward future ticket purchases in an amount that would offset the unreceived discounts for the '08-'09 season. His only response to that was, "Didn't you enjoy the atmosphere more due to the better attendance?" I told him that, while I respect the need to increase attendance, the blatant disregard for the full price support that I as a season ticket holder have given the franchise for 10 years, including full price $96 club seats for the last three seasons when this year there frequently were non-season ticket holders in the row immediately behind me who paid between $10 and $30 for the same class of seat in the same section. He basically blew me off, saying the discount to $75 on those seats for next year should be sufficient to compensate for the discounts. In reality, that is not even close. I'm sure that I am not the only person who feels this way, and I am also willing to bet that corporately held tickets will decline for this next season as well, though not as much as they might have without on the court franchise improvements that are underway, and have been for the last year.


    I don't disagree with you. But I do know that towards the end of this past season ticket reps were practically giving away tickets to season ticket holders - moving them down to the lower section - front rows.....I think the Pacers knew this would be a problem and probably a big reason why they hadn't discounted tickets like that in past years - but I think they felt like they had too.

    If attenandance and or season ticket sales are down next season it will be more for economic reasons then for reasons you state (not that won't be a factor) but keep in mind the economy did tank until med Septemeber 2008 and by then probably 75-85% of season ticket sales are sold. So the eceonomy will have a greater impact on season ticket sales this year than last year

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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    The problem here is that 1.8 still isn't very good. But at least it's not in the absolute basement.

    Let's celebrate when they hit 3.5 That will mean the people of Indianapolis care about the Pacers again.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    The problem here is that 1.8 still isn't very good. But at least it's not in the absolute basement.

    Let's celebrate when they hit 3.5 That will mean the people of Indianapolis care about the Pacers again.
    Yeah 1.8 isn't good at all. I forget when, either late 90's or maybe even during the '04 season and Reggie's last season the Pacers were around the 7 or 8 figures. So there is a long, long way to go to get back

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    The problem here is that 1.8 still isn't very good. But at least it's not in the absolute basement.

    Let's celebrate when they hit 3.5 That will mean the people of Indianapolis care about the Pacers again.

    Good point.

    Really, though, does watching something on TV constitute caring about it? Or, if it does, does viewership lead to attendance? Or is it a separate and distinct form of entertainment that drains off potential ticket buyers? I think the "either-ticket-or-cable" question is much more critical now that watching games on TV requires subscription to FSI or NBA league pass.

    Anyway, is there any proof that TV viewing ever leads to direct participation? Does Dr. Goldfoot report that attendance at his bands' live performances have increased since American Idol came on TV?
    Last edited by Putnam; 05-27-2009 at 11:32 AM.
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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Good point.

    Really, though, does watching something on TV constitute caring about it? Or, if it does, does viewership lead to attendance? Or is it a separate and distinct form of entertainment that drains off potential ticket buyers? I think the "either-ticket-or-cable" question is much more critical now that watching games on TV requires subscription to FSI or NBA league pass.

    That is an interesting question - not sure I have ever seen any type of study. I would guess there are a lot of people who go to the games who never watch on TV - but probably a lot more of the opposite. In some ways those watching on TV might care more than those who are at the games - a lot of those at the games go because they were given free tickets and or just go for the "night out" experience - whether it is a date, a kids thing, a business thing...... I know I have gone to a few Indianapolis Ice games just as a social thing but I would never even think of watching them on TV (even if they were on)

    Obviously the die-hard fans will either go to the games or watch on tv - but I know a lot of casual sports fans who will only watch the pacers when they are in the playoffs and even then only after they get deep into the playoffs and the games become an event - the social thing to do - get together with family and friends to watch the game. But they will never watch game 54 of the regular season

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    No question that the economy will have a significant impact on season ticket sales.

    My rep offered me 2 seats for 1 game of Chef's Table (which is the fancy name for the buffet) at the Varsity Club restaurant free, that ended up costing me $20 after getting soft drinks and 2 desserts. This after being told that he would "take care of us and feed us for the evening".

    For two other games I got 2 other club level seats in the corner where few ever sit for other family members. Otherwise, all I was offered was the opportunity to sit in the Best Lockerroom bar (I don't drink), or lower level corner seats up high, neither of which is as good an overall view as my Section 105, row 2, seats 3 and 4, which enables me the types of views that Heywoode showed in several of his late season cheap seats in section 104, though I believe he was several rows higher. The people in the seats next to mine were given some seats in section 16 I believe, about 15th row or so, for a couple of games toward the end of the season, but actually complained about the fact that the view wasn't nearly as good (which I agree with due to having had season tickets in that section for the two years prior to my club commitment) and that his views were frequently blocked by people constantly going up and down the aisles, which is not nearly as much of an issue on the club level due to the wait service to the seats.

    Apparently, it must have been in "who you know" or how big your account is as to who got courtside offers. I have only had two tickets in my full season accounts for six consecutive seasons, after beginning as a mini plan balcony when Conseco opened.

    For the sake of the franchise AND the taxpayers of Indiana, I hope that ticket sales improve AND that they can charge even 60% of what they did a couple of years ago to everyone, not just season ticket holders (who are still being charged more than that, for now). My guess is that they will have a difficult time accomplishing this.

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    Indy's #1 Hockey Fan Peter_sixtyftsixin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Just something I was thinking about. Sure we gave away a ton of tickets this year, but our attendance was up AND our tv ratings were up. That's good regardless. It means more people are watching the Pacers.

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    The problem here is that 1.8 still isn't very good. But at least it's not in the absolute basement.

    Let's celebrate when they hit 3.5 That will mean the people of Indianapolis care about the Pacers again.
    Well, let's look at this relatively.

    The year before we were 0.6.

    1.8 strikes me as a substantive improvement.

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Good point.

    Really, though, does watching something on TV constitute caring about it? Or, if it does, does viewership lead to attendance? Or is it a separate and distinct form of entertainment that drains off potential ticket buyers? I think the "either-ticket-or-cable" question is much more critical now that watching games on TV requires subscription to FSI or NBA league pass.

    Anyway, is there any proof that TV viewing ever leads to direct participation? Does Dr. Goldfoot report that attendance at his bands' live performances have increased since American Idol came on TV?
    I can only speak for myself as a fairly busy professional with 2 new kids. I have to make time to watch the Pacers on TV, and if I didn't care about them, I wouldn't watch TV at all.

    Watching them on TV this year has gotten me excited enough to convince my wife to make time for a game (or more) downtown.

    A game is a 2-3 hour event... whether you're watching it at home or live, it's a significant time commitment that many could spend in other ways...

    So, yes... I think you could assume for many that watching the Pacers means you care about them.

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    Default Re: Local NBA TV ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Both these comments are reasonable. But I could also be convinced that once people have subscribed to premium cable channels that deliver the game to the comfort of their couch, with several camera angles, instant replay and Stacy Paetz, they might never want to trade that for a plastic seat with a view blocked by the backboard, silly promotional trike races duringt timeouts, and being loomed over by skuzzy cotton-candy guy.
    Stacey did her reporting right in front of my seat last year, so it's all relative. For some reason I like being at the games more than on the couch at home.







    But man, as bad as that 1.8 is, how sickening is it to see the 0.6 from last year. I thought this was basketball country. Tripling from a .6 isn't all that hard to do. Heck, your probably getting into "oops, my ratings box/book made/has an error in it" level of swing.

    "Pacers ratings increase when they start leading in with CSI reruns and people fall asleep in front of the TV. Said Pacers GM Larry Bird 'It's all good.'"



    I do agree that in this case especially I think TV ratings will lead into increased ticket sales. I think the increase in an indicator of improved public perception and interest. I also think the ticket deals that boosted attendance helped increase overall interest and TV numbers.

    BTW though, say you have 500,000 possible viewers. 1.8% of that is 9000, .6% is 3000, so you are only talking about a 6000 person swing. In a small TV market you could see pretty big jumps in rating numbers simply from people staying at home to watch instead.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 05-28-2009 at 04:22 PM.

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