Breaking: Missing Games Would Be Bad News For NBA, NFL, According To Bloomberg
According to the analysts over at Bloomberg, media companies such as CBS Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. could potentially see years of ratings declines for professional sports programming in the event that the NFL or NBA season is canceled.
Well, we kind of figured as much. But at least they found a cool way to represent this finding graphically.
As the chart shows, World Series ratings have never recovered since the 1994 strike. Meanwhile, ratings for the Super Bowl have climbed over the same period, reaching record highs in 2010 and again in 2011. The NBA Finals show a similar trend of consistent increase. However, a delayed or canceled season could threaten this momentum, according to David Bank, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in New York. Says Bank:
"Everyone’s playing with fire with these lockouts. It’s a risk for all of the leagues. They run the risk of the viewers not coming back, and I don’t think they want to take that risk.”
Whereas ESPN can replace canceled games with other sports and college athletics, networks like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are at a disadvantage due to the fact that they lean on highly rated sporting events as promotional tools for new programming, says Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries.
For instance, early NFL games tend to coincide with the launch of the fall season for scripted network dramas and comedies. Lack of adequate promotion could thus result in lower ratings for these shows, which would in turn would negatively affect advertising revenue.
Just another reason to hope that both of these lockouts end soon, even if it requires taking the Arian Foster approach.
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