June 07, 2002

Of course NBA Finals ratings are down...without U2:
The AP is reporting that Game 1 of the NBA Finals is down in ratings 15% from last year's LA-Philly Game 1. But they neglected to mention that the halftime show last year was a live cut in to the U2 concert in Boston (an amazing show, by the way, that I went to on crutches). In a related story, the Patriots Super Bowl Champions video has been widely reported as the greatest-selling sports video of all time. Hmm....could it be because they included U2's outstanding halftime performance on the DVD? You've got to think that the legions of U2 fans spiked Game 1's ratings last June, and drove up sales of the Patriots video as well.

The point? Sports championships, by themselves, may not be enough these days to draw the big ratings TV and league execs want. And what can the NFL do to top this year's halftime show?

posted by Conquistador to culture at 12:26 PM - 5 comments

Nude Britney Spears concert. But I'm just talking off the top of my, uh, head here. To be honest, I haven't watched a halftime show for ANY sporting event in the past 10 years or so. That's usually the time I use to get more food and drink, visit the washroom, call friends on the phone or just stretch my legs. It would have to be something absolutely phenomenal to make me watch.

posted by grum@work at 12:55 PM on June 07, 2002

[off topic] U2 sucks. Hard. [/off topic] Ratings for this year's NBA Finals are down because no one wants to see Shaq and Kobe roll over the Nets, plain and simple. Kings/Lakers was the best series of the entire playoffs, with exception to the Nets/Pacers. No one expects the Nets to win, including the media, although sports analysts are being NBA whores by claiming that the Nets may surprise us all. What a load of crap.

posted by BlueTrain at 01:35 PM on June 07, 2002

I agree with your analysis Conquistador, and we will continue to see the melding of sports and entertainment, to help maintain the viability of both.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:20 PM on June 07, 2002

Speaking here as an unabashed Pats fan (from even before they won) I don't see the U2 halftime adding a whit to the sales of the DVD (or the video), although a few more folks may have tuned in at halftime of the actual game than otherwise would have (and just maybe, some of them stuck around for the second half, because they were so stunned to learn that the Patsies were winning at the time). It's far more likely that the "plucky underdog" thing, and, unfortunately, the "this year, we are all Patriots" thing, is what has made that Super Bowl such a big repeat seller. I can't imagine any U2 (or any musical group) fans actually buying the replay of a sports event, even a good one, even a championship, to see the band.

posted by yhbc at 10:44 PM on June 07, 2002

U2 has been arguably the largest rock act in the world over the last 15-20 years, and the band has legions of rabid fans, of which I am most certainly one. And I'm a diehard Pats fan since the early 80s. But it wouldn't have mattered who won that game, or who played in it; I would have bought that DVD for the halftime show only, and I'm certain that scores of U2 junkies did the same, Pats fan or not. [off topic response] BlueTrain, as the The Dude from The Big Lebowski would say, "Yeah, well, that's like...your opinion, man." [/off topic response]

posted by Conquistador at 11:18 PM on June 10, 2002

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