The NBA will relocate to Walt Disney World next month, where 22 teams are set to finish the season. The games will start at the Wide World of Sports complex on July 31. Players, their families, and team staffs will be quarantined to a few hotels and likely will not be allowed to visit the theme parks, which will have re-opened by that time.
Players and coaches knew from the moment this plan started being discussed that it would require quarantine. Reporters probably suspected the same would be true for them, although that is just becoming public knowledge.
The Daily Beast obtained a memo from The Professional Basketball Writers Association that says a select group of reporters will have to agree to be quarantined in the Most Magical Place on Earth for up to 3 and a half months if they want to cover the remainder of the NBA season. If any of those reporters exit the quarantine, there will be no option for them to re-enter.
Robert Silverman of The Daily Beast cites an email sent by PBWA President Josh Robbins titled “an off-the-record communication not to be reported on in any form,” so good job by Robbins and shame on whoever leaked it to him, I guess.
In the email, Robbins writes that the press will be divided into “two tiers.” A smaller first tier “will have the most access, but will work under far greater restrictions than we are used to under normal conditions.” This will be the group that cannot re-enter if they break quarantine.
One interesting thing to note in Robbins’s memo is that the price is going to be high for anyone that wants to cover the games. The NBA will feed the press corps in the first tier, but housing will not be covered by the league nor by Walt Disney World. Robbins acknowledges that it is “cost-prohibitive for most outlets” and notes that is why a second tier exists.
Reporters in the second tier would be allowed to attend the games in person. They would be prohibited from having face-to-face interactions with any players, staff, or coaches. They also would not be allowed to venture onto the Wide World of Sports campus or larger resort.
Robbins acknowledges that many smaller outlets will be shut out from first tier access, if not from the proceedings entirely. He says that he is still negotiating with the NBA for some kind of alternative access, “but this is a uniquely challenging situation. The league’s primary primary mandate is to minimize the risk of any players or team personnel contracting the virus.”
ABC Scores Most Watched NBA Saturday Primetime Game In 4 Years
“The game drew 3.7 million viewers.”
The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. While the game’s controversial finish left LeBron James and Patrick Beverly upset, executives at the Walt Disney Company had nothing but smiles thanks to the performance of ABC.
The game drew 3.7 million viewers. That means the Celtics’ win is the most-watched game in the ABC Saturday night prime-time window in the last four years. A February 2019 game between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors drew 4.1 million.
Boston also delivered the highest-rated game of the NBA season so far outside of the league’s stacked Christmas Day slate.
NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC is experiencing a nice uptick in viewership this season. Through the weekend, the Saturday night games are averaging over 3.4 million viewers according to an ESPN press release.
That number represents a 16% jump from last season. The edition of NBA Countdown that airs before the Saturday night game is having a good season as well. It’s average audience is up 3% to just under 1.5 million.
NHL Ratings on ESPN, TNT Down in 2nd Year
So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season.
Viewership totals from ESPN and TNT show NHL ratings have declined heading into the All-Star break, but there are some extenuating circumstances for the nearly 22% drop.
So far this season, games on ESPN and TNT are averaging 373,000 viewers, which is down from 478,000 last season. However, both channels have increased their linear television schedule, doubling from 27 games to 54.
ESPN has aired 18 games with an average of 402,000 viewers. In the same time period last year, the worldwide leader had only aired seven contests, but garnered 622,000 per game. None of ESPN’s games last season had aired on weekends, while the network has broadcast six games on Sunday this year alone. The 12 games ESPN has aired that weren’t on Sunday have averaged 491,000 viewers.
The 2023 NHL All-Star Game will air on ABC Saturday, and the network is hoping for a lift from last season. In 2022, ratings fell 38% from the previous All-Star Game on NBC, and hit the lowest total since 2009. The NHL Skills challenge saw its largest audience in a decade after airing on ESPN in primetime on a Friday evening. Nearly 1.1 million watched the skills challenge, a 30% increase compared to 2020.
At this time last season, TNT had aired 20 games. Through 36 games this season, the network has seen an average of 359,000 viewers. The network is helped by the 2023 Winter Classic, which took place at Fenway Park on Monday, January 2nd. The afternoon contest saw an audience of 1.78 million, up 31% compared to the previous year.
AFC Championship Game Delivers New Viewership High For CBS
53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI.
The AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals drew a massive audience for CBS.
53.1 million viewers tuned in to see the Chiefs’ controversial victory over the Bengals, making it the most-watched television program since Super Bowl LVI. Additionally, the event is the most-watched NFL Conference Championship Game since 2017.
CBS claims the game peaked with 59.3 million viewers and was also the most-streamed live sporting event in the history of Paramount+.
With an audience of 53.1 million, CBS concludes its NFL playoff coverage averaging 40.798 million viewers for each game. That leads all networks thus far. The 2022 NFL season was the most-watched regular season on CBS in the past seven seasons.