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NBA advertisers looking for other places to spend $1 billion

NBA: NOV 16 Pistons v Lakers

16 November 2007: Los Angeles Lakers Detroit Pistons during the first half at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Jeff Lewis/Icon SMI

With it looking more and more like NBA games are going to be lost, the advertisers that normally fill in the commercials during NBA broadcasts are starting to look around for other places to spend their money.

The concern is that once the league comes back, all those advertising dollars will not.

The NBA lockout is not causing the kind of panic among advertisers that the NFL lockout and threat of lost games caused, notes the New York Post. The fact is, NBA advertisers think they can find other places to attract a male audience — including giving more money to the NFL, which got its labor house in order in time to salvage a full season.

Already making replacement pitches are male-targeted cable networks such as Viacom’s Spike and Comedy Central and News Corp’s FX….

“The big winners would be the cable guys that skew male,” said (Marc Morse, senior vice president of national broadcast at ad shop R.J. Palmer), noting that basketball tends to draw men between the ages of 18 and 34, a younger audience than pro football.

Disney’s ESPN/ABC and Turner’s TNT, which air the majority of NBA games, have the most to lose, while a host of regional sports networks would also be hurting if the strike isn’t resolved by the start of training camp in October.

The NBA also draws a large audience of African-American males, something that may be hard for advertisers to reach easily, the Post notes. As for who are the largest regular season advertisers, it’s American Express and All State insurance.

But I think what we are all going to miss most is the TNT’s Franklin & Bash promos.