Wednesday Notes

Most of the TV pundit industry seems to be taking off the last week of 2017, so I am especially glad for Jon Lafayette‘s note at Broadcasting and Cable. Lafayette said that the NBA’s Christmas Day game ratings were way up this year. The Golden State v. Cleveland Cavaliers matchup drew a 5.5 rating, “the fifth highest ever on ABC for Christmas”, and the Oklahoma City Thunder v. Houston Rockets game drew a 4.1, “the highest for a primetime ABC NBA broadcast since 2003.” There are more and more cord-cutters these days, and they’re hungry for live sports. The NFL, which recently posted a new record in TV ad revenue, remains hugely popular with most of its games freely available to anyone with an antenna. More major sports leagues need to put more games where they can be seen by such casual viewers, especially the new generation of cord-nevers, so they can capture another generation of fans. I hope the NBA can find more excuses for games on free TV.

And this one’s not really video, but it felt like it. Dick Orkin, the man who created radio serials of Chickenman and The Tooth Fairy, passed away at the age of 84. Orkin did an amazing job, despite little budget and a tiny cast, of creating coherent, deeply silly worlds that filled listeners’ imaginations better than most TV sitcoms. Here’s a YouTube video of The Tooth Fairy’s first episode – because it’s radio, you can’t actually see anything.