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Complain about LeBron infomercial all you want, you still tuned in to watch

Jul 9, 2010, 1:09 PM EDT

lebron_decision.jpgMedia is the ultimate democracy in our profit driven world. We know exactly how many people come to this blog every day and what you read. Same with every other Web site out there. Same with television.

Don’t like something, ignore it and it goes away. If you can’t deliver viewers to advertisers, if people don’t watch, you’re gone. It’s about profit and your eyeballs are the vote.

So keep venting all you want today about “LeBron James: The Decision” and how awkward it felt, how Jim Gray was paid by LeBron’s people, How James said things like “One thing you can’t control is you never know” all you want. Bottom line, it worked.

ESPN got a 7.3 rating for the show. That was ESPN’s best non-NFL number of 2010. It is what NBA playoff conference finals draw (the NBA Finals this year were higher). It’s a bigger ratings number than LeBron got when he was in the finals.

You voted. You watched. Vitaminwater and Nike and the University of Phoenix got a lot of publicity before a lot of people.

It could have been handled far more smoothly, no doubt. It will be next time. Because with the ratings success of this you can bet there will be a next time.
ossible rookie of the year.

Maybe that is Turner. Maybe he just has to adjust and he will be fine. But it bears watching.

  1. Kyle - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    dont tell me i watched when i didnt.
    you know what happens when you assume

  2. J-Rock - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    I’m sure none of those people who watched were Cleveland fans, either.

  3. Nips - Jul 9, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    “you still tuned in to watch”
    no, I did not. I watched the Rangers and Orioles game last night.. and what’s “ossible rookie of the year.”?

  4. Big B - Jul 9, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    “you still tuned in to watch”
    No, I did not watch.
    I have better things to do then watch overpaid kids show off.

  5. banner18 - Jul 9, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Of course I tuned in to watch. The alternative was waiting even longer to find out.
    This whole saga has represented the ultimate low point of professional sports, of journalistic ethics, and of basic human decency. The sights and sounds of LeBron announcing his departure, no, his treason, shook me to my core. I could hardly believe that a guy who had been adored by his hometown fans for so long would spit in their faces on national TV… AND SMILE ABOUT IT! Never in a million years did I think he was even close to that guy. And never have I been more wrong about anyone than I have been about LeBron James.
    ESPN has reached its ultimate low, where business trumps all else. In fact, ESPN should become LeBron’s new agents. Sure I tuned in to watch. Who didn’t? ESPN seemed to delight in Cleveland’s despair throughout the entire process, and this was never more evident in ESPN going back on their word that the announcement would take place in the first ten minutes and Stuart Scott asking the same question over and over and over again and getting the same answers (“Where is LeBron going?”).
    This entire affair was cruel, repulsive, egomaniacal, sickening, crass, and in the end (for Cavs fans), heartbreaking. Kudos to Dan Gilbert for simply saying what everyone else is thinking. I want LeBron James to fail. If it means I have to root for Kobe and the Lakers in the Finals next year, then so be it.
    Cavs fans, you did nothing to deserve this. Nothing. I wouldn’t wish being hanged, drawn, and quartered like that on my worst enemy. This is the most cruel thing any athlete/sports figure has ever done to a city, let alone a hometown kid. Yes, this trumps Art Modell in every way imaginable.
    And by the way, I’m a Celtics fan.

  6. Ned Ludd - Jul 9, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    I think the media is missing what all ordinary people suspect: It’s all a fake. No ordinary person thinks LBJ got up yesterday and made his decision. I think (along with every other sentient being) that he decided a long time ago he was leaving and setting up shop with his buddies. The superstars knew what was going to happen for months and the agents knew as well. The elite sports media probably knew too, but only Steve A. Smith broke ranks to tell the truth. The idea that there was real bidding and real deciding was just a lie. But the lie was good for ESPN the agents and the NBA. It fed the NBA hype machine for months.
    The aforesaid SAS suggested last night that LBJ made the deal mid-season and that makes sense to me. It explains why LBJ mailed in some playoff performances–he wanted to make sure he didn’t make the finals. It also explains why Dan Gilbert is so crazy-pissed–he ate the awful Jamison contract at LBJ’s behest on believing the promise that he’d come back. Gilbert discovered that he’d been played–James already had a deal to leave even before Gilbert put himself $40M in debt.
    I think LBJ made a smart move. He’ll win 70 games next season and make his $1 Billion. And, it’s probably not even his fault that that he has to pretend. However, I wish the adults that report on this stuff would be more skeptical and not play us all for suckers.
    -NL

  7. Justin M. - Jul 9, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Ya Kurt, let’s start a race to the bottom just for some TV ratings. Get real, man.

  8. Lamak - Jul 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  9. Nick - Jul 9, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    how nice of you to grandstand Kurt, you really sound like an idiot. i wanted to see the circus after people like you over-hyped it. i wanted to see a train wreck. either way, most people who watched it still feel he was wrong for how he did it

  10. jabberwocky - Jul 9, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    The interview was painful to watch, cause Bron can’t formulate a rational thought into a constructive sentence.

  11. That 1 Guy - Jul 9, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    I was out walking my dog, so no. Not like it wasn’t going to be plastered anywhere you turned to, nope, not at all.

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