Thursday, April 14, 2016

Nets finish season with league's third-worst record, lowest TV ratings

So much for bringing Brooklyn a team, "something as intangible as a soul," as Nets owner/Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner told a New York Times Magazine interviewer in June 2005.

Did anyone notice Filip Bondy's brutal recap of the Nets' season in the 4/14/16 New York Times, The Nets See Their Season, Long Over, Come to an End:
On Wednesday night, as the Nets lost to a group of impostor Raptors, 103-96, they finished their season ranked among the bottom five teams in average attendance. Their television ratings stood 30th, dead last. Yet those final 2015-16 standings will forever record that the Nets played and lost the vast majority of their games, by an average margin of more than 7 points, while laboring in relative obscurity.
...The Nets’ average television rating was just 0.47 for the first half of the season, according to Sports Business Journal, down 15 percent from last season’s already unimpressive numbers. That translates to about 35,000 households, just over 20 percent of the average MSG viewership for the Knicks, who are having their own problems on the court.
In this, the Brooklyn Nets fourth season, they went 21-61, the third worst record in the league.

And Bondy reflects the conventional wisdom that the lack of draft picks, along with the difficulty in recruiting free agents and finding a high-profile coach, will cripple the team. Of course new GM Sean Marks will try to figure something out.

Bondo found the frighteningly articulate Jeff Coplon, a longtime fan, to pronounce on Nets' owner Mikhail Prokhorov:
“At the end of our long day’s journey into night, the buck stops with Prokhorov,” said Coplon, who still attends a half-dozen Nets games against watchable opponents. “Once you get past his raffish, Russian charm, he amounts to a queasy cross between [one-time Cleveland Cavaliers owner] Ted Stepien and [New York Knicks owner] James Dolan.”
The Brooklyn Game asked various people if this was the Nets' worst season, and got mixed responses. Andy Vasquez of the Record wrote:

It’s still too early to say if it’s the worst season in Nets history. It’s bad. Depressingly bad. Worse than the final season in New Jersey. The Nets are more irrelevant and less interesting now than they ever were in that campaign. But, in my mind, this still isn’t as bad as the 2009-10 season.
According to NetsDaily, via SportsBusiness Journal:
The Nets finished dead last in local television ratings again this season, attracting only 0.46 percent of the New York market --34,000 households-- per game, a six percent drop over last season, when they also finished last, according to Sports Business Journal. The final season rating was about the same as the mid-season ratings, which came in at 0.47 percent.
"Brooklyn Nets games on YES Network were the league’s lowest-rated games for the second straight year and seventh time in the last nine years," SBJ reports. The next lowest rating was the Denver Nuggets on Altitude, which delivered 0.80 percent.
Because the New York market is so big, the Nets did not have the smallest audience, just the lowest ratings. The Knicks, despite not making the playoffs again, had a 1.98 percent rating, more than four times the Nets and up 58 percent over last season.
...YES numbers had to have been effected by its dispute with Comcast, which denied Nets --and now Yankees-- coverage to 900,000 households in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. There's no resolution in sight and the Yankees' slow start isn't helping YES.
The Nets also finished 27th in home attendance this season with 15,125 fans per game. Interestingly, the Nets finished seventh in road attendance at 18,106.
That suggests that actual home attendance was somewhere around 13,500, given typical no-shows of 10% or more (see p. 5 of memo),

Prokhorov in hot water?

Oh, and the Moscow offices of Prokhorov's Onexim, according to Bloomberg, were "searched by law enforcement and tax officials for reasons that aren’t yet clear."

Then again, as NetsDaily's "Net Income" (aka Bob Windrem) observed:
—If authorities really wanted to embarrass him (and Dmitry), they wouldnt have waited until they had departed for Brooklyn.
—It could go away if he sells RBC, the Russian CNBC. It’s one of a handful of independent media outlets out there.
—RUssian authorities approved his purchases of the Nets and Barclays as well as Nassau only months ago.

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