Mark Cuban was one of just two owners to vote against the Sonics' move to Oklahoma City. He's a total cockblocker, and his intransigence won't soon be forgotten. Money over bitches, Cuban. Here's some of his "reasoning":
"There could be information that sways me," he said. "If they come back and said the Oklahoma City index is 200 when it comes to watching the NBA on TNT or ABC, and no one in Seattle watches, then OK maybe there's information that goes beyond market size."Well, Sports Media Watch has been gathering that information:
"In Seattle, which is undergoing its first season without an NBA team in 42 years, nationally televised NBA games are averaging a 0.8 rating on ESPN and a 0.9 on TNT, down 20% and 10% respectively from a 1.0 on each network last year."See? Nobody in Seattle likes the NBA. At least, not anymore. David Stern is such a genius. The article continues.
"In Oklahoma City, which is in its first year as a full-time NBA city, games on ESPN are averaging a 0.9 rating, down 18% from a 1.1 in '07, while games on TNT are averaging a surprisingly low 0.6 -- down 33% from a 0.9 last year.So, apparently ratings are worse for Oklahoma City's inaugural NBA season than they were for the 2007-08 Sonics' 82-game "Fuck You" to the fans of Seattle. And apparently a 1.2 rating translates into a lot more homes in Seattle than it does in Oklahoma City. Somehow this information doesn't mesh with my perception of Thunder fans as the greatest sports fans in history of both sports and fans. If only there were some prominent Oklahoman, perhaps our sportscaster-turned-mayor, who could try to explain this away to the New York Times. Oh, here we go:
According to Nielsen, Oklahoma City Thunder telecasts are averaging a 1.2/2 rating and approximately 9,000 homes on KSBI (6 games), and a 1.1/2 and approximately 7,000 homes on FS Oklahoma. Sonics games averaged a 1.27 rating on FSN Northwest for the full 2007-08 season, equaling approximately 22,600 homes."
“Our fan base is still really not in tune with the rest of the league and even our team on the road,” Cornett said. “I don’t get the sense that if you walked into a restaurant and our team is playing a road game, that it’s a given that they are going to be playing it on TV. The market just hasn’t matured in that respect. To them, the N.B.A. is 41 home games, and the rest will take time to develop.”Well put, Mayor Mick. Everyone knows it will take time for Thunder fans--fans who deserved to have this basketball team more than its old fans--to figure out that half the games aren't played in Oklahoma. Naturally. Road games are a tricky concept. It's something that can only be learned through maturation and personal growth, and maybe those refrigerator magnet schedules they hand out for free. But mostly maturity. Hopefully, the fans who can figure out how to drive to the Ford Center can eventually also learn how to turn on the TV and navigate to the correct channel at the appropriate times. Maybe in year three.