Spurs lead league in local TV ratings

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I don’t tend to compliment people when I discover they watch staggering amounts of television. Given that the average American watches more than four hours of television a day, it’s not a remarkable achievement. Actually, I think there’s a fighting chance you should spend more of your time reading. If you need a good book recommendation, let me know. I’ve got some suggestions.

However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel just a twinkle of pride when the Sports Business Journal released the average ratings for locally televised NBA games during the 2010-11 regular season and I saw that the San Antonio Spurs were at the top of the league:

The San Antonio Spurs finished the season with a 10.19 local rating for its games on FS Southwest, up 52 percent from last year’s mark. The Spurs’ local TV rating more than doubled that of the high-profile Miami Heat, which saw its local ratings on Sun Sports nearly double to a 4.94 average, third-best in the league. . . . The Utah Jazz posted the No. 2 average rating, at 5.60, up 1.8 percent from last year.

The Spurs didn’t have the most viewers. Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Boston were ranked above San Antonio in that regard. But when you consider the average population of those cities and their surrounding suburbs, it’s impressive San Antonio is among their ranks. And it’s still great to see such a significant percentage of San Antonio households were as excited as I was about the Silver and Black’s accomplishments this season.

It’s also as good a time as any to remember that there was a time when San Antonio nearly lost the Spurs. It’s easy to be enthusiastic when you have the best record in the Western Conference. But one of these days, the Spurs are no longer going to be the perennial contender we’ve come to expect. Some day soon, we’re going to sit down to watch the first round of the playoffs and the Spurs aren’t going to be on the schedule. When that day comes, it’s unrealistic to expect that San Antonio will sit atop this list. But let’s not make our way to the bottom of it either.

When you look at what happened in Seattle, what’s happening in Sacramento, and what very well may happen in New Orleans, it’s important to remember that NBA franchises, despite the substantial footprint they leave on the culture of a city, are not the immovable objects that they seem to be at the best of times.

That being said, I still think you should spend more time reading.

  • badger

    Spurs games this season have been really fun to watch, especially because of the up-tempo style, and of course, 61 wins doesn’t hurt either. It looks like our Neilsen rating this year translates to twice the percentage of SA households watching Spurs than the percentage watching in any other market. Wow!!!!

  • SMAM

    What are your book recommendations?

  • http://twitter.com/graydongordian Graydon Gordian

    I wasn’t joking about that. I have so many! But I’d have to know what you were interested in reading. The most tidy way to hash that out is for you to just shoot me an email, but if you want to leave it in the comments section, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

  • David

    sorry, but you do not think San Antonio will even make the playoffs??? way to be pessimistic!!

  • idahospur

    I always enjoy hearing how a smaller market city rallies around their team and you can see everyone in the city committed to watching the Spurs. Hope to be down there someday and see it myself.

  • http://regularfan.blogspot.com/ Humberto

    how about some must read basketball related books.

  • Greyberger

    Someday soon, he said. After Duncan and Ginobili retire, he means. We’d need a miracle to stay in the championship conversation after those two are retired, and I know the team isn’t interested in being in the playoffs but not in the championship hunt.

    So if we’re not winning it all, and we don’t want round-one exits, the only other option is trying to draft or acquire young talent, stink in the short-term, and try and develop potential into something special. We’re probably not getting another Robinson or Duncan through the draft anytime soon.

  • Kintaro

    Please post a new article entitled “48 Minutes of Reading” in which the main contributors talk about their favourite books.

  • idahospur

    Maybe it would be good to have a section on this site with small biographies of you and the other writers, then you could also have some book recommendations.

  • http://twitter.com/graydongordian Graydon Gordian

    I think Greyberger understands my point. I wasn’t saying that the Spurs would miss the playoffs next year or even the year after that. But to say the Spurs will be in the playoffs ad infinitum is delusional. At some point they will miss the postseason. And while it’s equally unrealistic to assume there would be as much enthusiasm as there has been this season, my hope would be that years of contention won’t spoil Spurs fans, and the team will have a relatively devoted viewership no matter their record.

  • http://twitter.com/graydongordian Graydon Gordian

    We have short biographies under the “about” section, but bios listing our favorite books is something I’d be very open to. As far as basketball related books go, my favorite has always been John McPhee’s A Sense of Where You Are. Although, if you are open-minded, I’d just recommend you read McPhee’s Levels of the Game, which is a dual biography of Clark Graebner and Arthur Ashe, and a point-by-point breakdown of their semi-final match at the 1968 U.S. Open. I am not a tennis fan, but for my money it is one of if not the finest book about sports ever written. Both are worth your time.

    But I’m an unashamed bibliophile so I can talk about this stuff for hours.

  • Easy B

    I think the spurs need to continue to pressure the point guard play in game 2. Having Ginobili back to make it a super solid 4 guard rotation, should make a huge difference to Tony Parker’s game, fatigue wise. I think the spurs need to go more with Neal than Bonner in this series, because Neal can put more pressure on the defense with his dribble drive game, and quicker release from 3pt. Duncan needs to use his fouls more to lift the defensive intimidation a notch down low. That means we should use Tiago 5 mins or more if we can, even just for fouls and rest for TD. The ability of this team is in the depth, and they need to continue to exploit that by playing a deep bench and wearing down their opponent.

  • http://regularfan.blogspot.com/ Humberto

    At the moment, my eyes are glancing over “No Cheering in the Press Box” by Jerome Holtzman, I’m a fan of learning about the old baseball writers from the 1900s on. I’ll be sure to check out McPhee’s Bio on Bradley.
    Also the idea of having your favorite books listed in the Bio would be fantastic.

  • AS

    Graydon, did you read Gabriel García Márquez’s novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude”?

    If not, you should. Master piece of magical realism.

  • WB2

    San Antonio only has the Spurs – nothing else….no Football, no Baseball, no Hockey, no Night life, NOTHING ZILCH! lol. plus people stay at home because they are the FATTEST city in the USA. Last, the stadium is HORRIBLE and you can imagine why people would rather stay at home and watch.

  • SAJKinBigD

    Troll much? :|
    Regardless, there’s plenty to do in SA, just not MAJORs sports-wise, aside from the SPURS…
    There’s Minor Hockey and Baseball, and there’s TONS to do on the RIverwalk and around town.
    I don’t need to defend the town.
    Where’re you from WB2? Fess up…

  • http://twitter.com/graydongordian Graydon Gordian

    I do love Marquez and, yes, One Hundred Years of Solitude was a wonderful read. I also suggest checking out some of his nonfiction: Clandestine in Chile, and News of a Kidnapping, in particular. His reportage is wonderful, but often overlooked.

  • Tyler

    The stadium is horrible? I can name you over 15 arenas around the NBA that are in much worse shape, both in terms of sight lines and general upkeep.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZSJZX2F5EDO5U6HF3JUIRDF7FE Deejay

    If the broadcast the SPuRs’ game in ESPN, NBA TV or TNT, AND it’s available in FSN Southwest, I watch it in FSN Southwest. It’s pathetic how the haters do sportscast on ESPN, NBA TV and TNT. You can tell whom they root for.

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  • GMT

    Maybe he thinks we still play in the ‘dome.

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