Jan 18, 2011, 2:56 PM EST
You think you don’t want a lockout because you don’t want to miss Kwame Brown getting to shoot more, imagine how much the suits at ABC/ESPN and Turner Broadcasting (TNT) are dreading it.
Television ratings are up this season about 30 percent (attendance at the gate is flat). ESPN could really feel the pinch, the story notes.
TNT clearly has the programming to fill the void if there is no NBA next season, but sports-centric ESPN would have to scramble. Unlike the NBA lockout in 1999, ESPN no longer has the National Hockey League to fall back on. And, according to a report prepared by analysts from RBC Capital, Disney derives 55% of its revenue from sports, primarily from ESPN.
There are a number of companies that base their marketing around those games — Nike and Adidas are selling a lot of shoes, for example, and would not have the showcase for new lines or hot endorsers. Then there are league sponsors, like the recently signed BBVA (A Spanish banking group) and American Express. They will be scrambling for other venues to get the word out.
The lockout is coming — Carmelo Anthony says so. But the money doesn’t really start to be lost until games start being lost and that is the ultimate key. Lockouts in the dead of the offseason are one thing; ones that cost games are another thing entirely. And if it costs games, it’s going to cost a lot of money.
- PBT Christmas Day preview: Late game between Clippers and Warriors will see league’s best rivalry renewed 0
- PBT Extra: Top 5 NBA stories of 2014 0
- Five things to watch as NBA takes over Christmas Day 15
- Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao tears Achilles, done for season 29
- Miami Heat fans were hurt when LeBron left, they may let him hear it. Somewhat. 21
- Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris coming into their own for Magic 6
- PBT Tuesday Night Winners/Losers: Sixers, Lakers show the last will be first (for a night) 13
- Anderson Varejao leaves Cavaliers game with foot injury not to return, MRI Wednesday 5