BOFFO WARRIORS-CAVS TV RATINGS
Thursday’s NBA Finals tip-off scored its best-ever Game 1 rating on ABC, pulling in a 12.9 Nielsen overnight number. That preliminary total is currently 24 percent higher than 2014’s Game 1 (Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs). The dramatic ebb-and-flow overtime broadcast peaked with a 15.6 overnight rating between 11:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. ET. The game ended at 11:57 p.m. on the East Coast with the Warriors taking a 1-0 series lead.
It is safe to say that these ratings are the high watermark for any Warriors broadcast since Dr. James Naismith hung up peach baskets at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891.
NBA and ABC executives have to be smiling knowing: The two best players in the league are matched up in the finals, and the most likeable pro athlete on the current scene would be leading his “Strength in Numbers" team against the NBA’s living, breathing Optimus Prime in LeBron James.
With the Warriors' rise, new players and cities could be introduced to a national TV audience of hoop-heads. What self respecting league, broadcast, sports journalist or corporate sponsor executive wouldn’t want to hop a jet and spend a few days in San Francisco with side trips to Napa, Tahoe, and the Monterey Peninsula?
These were the first back-to-back overtime games in NBA Finals history, to boot. And above and beyond the compelling basketball battle there is always Riley Curry, The Princess of Press Conferences, who will bring a smile to everyone's face in between the amazing competition between her dad Stephen and LeBron.
The seven-game ratings bonanza that TV executives, sponsors, fans and league execs were praying for may come to pass. The Warriors' rise to relevance, and their appearance in future NBA playoffs show record-breaking numbers that Nielsen ratings celebrate.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST PARK & CHARGERS TASK FORCE
When we last heard from Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, aka Indiana Jones, he was leading his “Raiders of the Lost Park” on a journey to find a new home for the Silver and Black.
This ongoing football venue quest has a treasure map that reads Oakland, Inglewood, San Antonio, St. Louis and the LA suburb of Carson. Davis has repeatedly stated “I want to stay in Oakland.” That being said, he continues to pursue a Plan B based on the inability to finance his own stadium in Oakland.
The Raiders and the San Diego Chargers are pursuing a shared stadium in Carson. Both teams are using their Carson interest in attempting to pressure elected officials to move more quickly on new stadium deals in their long term homes. The Carson stadium has an estimated $1.7 billion price tag. The Raiders are year-to-year on their lease, while the Chargers can break their lease at Qualcomm Stadium at minimal cost.
The Chargers are far ahead of the Raiders in negotiating a new stadium in San Diego but those talks took a major hit last week.
The Chargers' reaction to the stadium plan presented by San Diego authorities was underscored by the following sentences: “Stadium cost estimates badly flawed,” “Land value not defendable,” and “Unprecedented team contributions required.”
A separate political timeline projection commissioned by the Chargers concluded that even if San Diego and its football team could hammer out the economics by the start of the 2015 NFL season, the earliest public money could be put to a vote is April 5, 2016.
Momentum is clearly building for a new building and a return to LA for the NFL.
While in San Francisco in May, NFL executives told owners that the six-week period for when teams can submit relocation bids -- now set to start Jan. 1 2016 -- is likely to both move up and shrink. To complicate matters, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is moving swiftly on his new stadium project in Inglewood.
What does this mean for the Raiders? When are they going and where are they going? Does this problem in San Diego between the Chargers and the city push the Carson shared stadium ahead?
If you happen to see Mark Davis wearing one of Harrison Ford’s Fedoras, you’ll know that that the stadium search continues.
There has never been a business corruption scandal of this magnitude for a multi-national sports organizing body, and there have been threats from FIFA’s presenting sponsors about pulling their support.
In the aftermath of Sepp Blatter's resignation, no sponsors have cut and run. “The Beautiful Game” has been soiled by a group of unscrupulous executives.
In speaking to a number of my global sports colleagues, some just pass it off as the way the rest of the world does business. There are 209 men’s soccer associations that make up FIFA -- 12 more than there are members of the United Nations.
FIFA sold sponsorships worth $1.6 billion between 2011 and 2014. More than 3.2 billion people watched the 2014 World Cup, which is the type of distribution that is impossible to reach in any other sport.
Coke, adidas, McDonald’s, VISA, Hyundai/Kia, Anheuser Busch and Samsung provide the monetary advertising fuel that runs soccer’s global business engine.
Soccer fans love the game more than the scoundrels that run it. Many of the global brands have signed long term contracts. I would guess that lawyers and accountants at these mega-marketers are going through their contracts and negotiation history with FIFA to make absolutely certain that they won’t be caught up in this Red Card of a business mess.