With news surfacing today about the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, it seems as if the future of the 2011-2012 NBA season is doubtful—at best.
The players rejected the league’s latest offer, choosing not even to counter it or specific provisions in it. This new deal, which would have given the player’s an even 50/50 split of the BRI, seemed to be Commissioner Stern’s ultimatum. He said that if a deal wasn’t completed by his specified deadline that a revised offer, marked by a “47 percent proposal” and a “flex cap,” would be placed on the table—an offer that the players would understandably vehemently refuse.
As a result of this predicament, the players have begun disbanding the union and plan to take the case to court. An action that has some experts, such as ESPN’s business analyst Andrew Brandt, saying that the litigation process “could take years.”
Whether or not the NBA will recover from this catastrophe is yet to be seen. What is visible amongst all this wreckage, though, is that many basketball fanatics and enthusiasts will be looking to get their fix elsewhere. I think it’s safe to say that the NCAAB could be the destination for these disgruntled, hoop-hungry fans.
With college basketball coming off an incredible NCAA tourney, which featured a new cast of 68 teams and an unprecedented 20 upsets, excitement and anticipation for the 2011-2012 season is abundant.
“Everything seemed to click,” said Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports via the New York Times.
The New York Times reported, “9.9 million viewers watched each game…the best in six years.” This added viewership was undoubtedly due to the broadcasting of the games on four major networks. Audiences that previously seemed to be unreached jumped on the tournament bandwagon and rode it all the way to the Final Four.
Now, with the prospect of adding traditional NBA fans into the mix, we could see an exponential increase in television ratings and viewership.
The league and its associates have all the necessary tools at their disposal to induce a shockwave in the industry. Fans, merchandise, ticket prices, broadcasting deals, conceivably all at their fingertips. They have the opportunity to make the basketball market a one-horse race—a monopoly, if you will.
The sky is the limit for college basketball. All they have to do is sit back and shelter the fleeing fans of a collapsing NBA and reap the ensuing benefits and revenue.