The Sporting Scene: Jordan’s Moment : The New Yorker

The Sporting Scene: Jordan’s Moment : The New Yorker: “Ebersol liked Michael Jordan very much, and was well aware that he and his network were the beneficiaries of Jordan’s unique appeal. Jordan’s presence in the finals was worth eight or nine million viewers to NBC. Ebersol was delighted by the ratings for this series so far—they would end up at 18.7, the highest ever. At this point, though, Ebersol was rooting not for Michael Jordan but for a seventh game, and that meant he was rooting, however involuntarily, for Utah. A seventh game would bring NBC and its parent company, General Electric, an additional ten or twelve million dollars in advertising revenues. Jordan’s exploits had brought many benefits to the N.B.A. over the years, but he was such a great player that no N.B.A. final in which he was involved had gone to the ratings and advertising jackpot of a seventh game.”

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