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Sports Media

Mark Cuban Talks About the Challenge of Reaching Young Viewers

Mark Cuban

Michael Ainsworth / AP

Mark Cuban
Michael Ainsworth / AP

NBA Ratings are down this year. That’s a fact, while there could be plenty of reasons for this issue. Mark Cuban has his thoughts and ideas on the situation.  Mark Cuban talked about it with Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News:

Cuban: “We’ve got a challenge in that all of our games, until we start on ABC, are on cable. Which means if you cut the cord, you can’t see any of our games. That’s a challenge.

Q: Some of the reaction that I saw was that some read that as doom and gloom, but that’s not the impression I got from your comments.

Cuban: I don’t see that at all. It’s a challenge. It’s going to be hard to find the equilibrium, but that’s the innovators’ dilemma. Businesses go through that. The technology is changing. Streaming, who knew that it would be a big deal?

We are where we are. Kids, I forget the exact number, but the majority of homes with millennials and younger in the household, they don’t have traditional cable TV. And so the number of options for them to get our games is minimal and that’s going to hurt our ratings because other than MLS, we have the youngest viewing the league.

Q: So what is the workaround?

Cuban: That’s the thing we have to work out with our broadcast partners. Now, if they open it up for streaming, that makes life easier. That’s a big discussion for everybody, though.

Mark Cuban pretty much hits it the nail on the coffin. The NBA needs to find a way to maneuver themselves so they can have ratings up again. I always loved what the NFL did with their “Redzone” coverage. If you haven’t watched the NFL Redzone, let me break it down. They will have coverage on all the NFL games going on, they show highlights, they show big plays, and they’ll stay on one game if that team is close to scoring. I think this could be a good adjustment to the NBA, with a price of course.

This would be harder to do because of basketball’s fluid game, but games usually have a staggered start. Teams later in the game that is are close would get more coverage than the games that just started. Show the big highlight plays, dunks, sweet passes, and all that jazz. I think it could work and you would charge a fee of whatever a month for that. That’s just my idea. Mark Cuban’s idea of setting up streaming services through their marketing partners is a great idea too.

Altogether, it’s clear that the NBA cannot be idle about this. That could be why they are trying to do this in-season tournament. In an effort to try to elevate ratings. This will be interesting to monitor to see how they adjust to this problem.

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