Blog Entry

The lockout damage is wider than most think

Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: October 12, 2011 11:18 am
 
By Matt Moore

There's a growing movement that things aren't really that bad in this lockout. "The stadium workers are part-time," is part of the argument, without realizing the situation of so many of the actual jobs involved or how much of a percentage of income those jobs are. "The arenas will still be open for concerts" is another fun one, not factoring the 41 events a year that are now in jeopardy. But the real problem is all of the ways it filters down. Take television revenues, for instance. 

Each NBA team has a contract with a local TV provider for the games that usually includes pre- and post-game coverage. It's true the networks won't have to pay the teams for the games missed. But it also means those networks are having to replace the games with lesser content that won't sell high quality ad content. From the Los Angeles Times:  
While much of the attention on the lockouts impact on the media has focused on ESPN and TNT, much-harder hit will be local sports channels such as News Corp.s Fox Sports West, which carries the Los Angeles Lakers. Fox Sports and cable giant Comcast Corp. are two of the biggest operators of so-called regional sports networks.

"There is probably a lot more at stake at the regional sports network level than the national level," said Chris Bevilacqua, who heads Bevilacqua Media, a sports and media consulting firm.

While the networks are protected against a lengthy disruption of games, their ratings and ad revenue will be adversely affected and there will be a scramble to find programming to fill holes left by the loss of the NBA.

"We will air a mix of college sports, hockey, original programming and selective classic NBA games in the meantime," said a spokesman for Comcast, which has the local cable rights to seven NBA franchises, including the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.
via NBA labor strife bad for ESPN, TNT and regional sports networks - latimes.com.

Some of the camera and production crews are likely on salary and will probably be kept by the local affiliates. But there are also countless part-time and contract workers that help in the production of a live sports broadcast. Those jobs? In danger. The impact will be felt throughout the community. Everything trickles down. The networks lose sponsor money. Sponsors lose a viable advertising source which impacts business even if they save the cost of advertising.

And there are other impacts, like bars and restaurants. From the AP:  
"I'm worried that my money situation is going to change — a lot," said waitress Zuly Molina, who works at a Hooters at the Bayside complex next to the Miami Heat's home arena. "It was a lot better last year. We had business before every game, during every game with people who couldn't get tickets watching in here, then after every game. Now it's gone, except for when they have a concert or something like that."
via Lockout's real pain felt beyond owners and players - Houston Chronicle.

You don't have to be a fan of Hooters to get where she's coming from. Waiters, waitresses, hosts, hostesses, bartenders, chefs, independent ticket vendors, independent merchandise retailers, the list goes on and on. The gap the two sides in the lockout are apart doesn't begin to hurt the parties involved on the level it impacts the people in the economies dependent on these games. They want to talk about how it's a business. Part of your responsibility in being a business that is publicly supported and in part funded through arenas is to be a responsible member of the local economy.

Truth is, we dont' know what the damage is going to be yet. We're just getting a taste. But hey, at least Micky Arison is eating well.
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