Brian Berger's blog

Talking NBA CBA with ESPN's Ric Bucher

So far the NBA playoffs have been tremendously exciting. And this comes on the heels of a terrific year of TV ratings for the league.

According to the Sports Business Daily, ABC drew 5.1 million viewers for its 15 NBA broadcasts, a 38.3 percent increase from the previous year. It was the best regular-season NBA viewership on a network since the '98-99 season on NBC. TNT drew an average of 2.45 million viewers for its 52 games, up 42.4 percent from the 2009-10 season. ESPN averaged two million viewers for its 73 broadcasts, up 28.3 percent from the previous year.

But as you'll hear during my conversation with ESPN NBA Senior reporter Ric Bucher, the chances of striking a deal on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement by the July 1st deadline are slim.

And don't look for the NBA Players Association to use the same decertification tactic that the NFL Players Association recently utilized in their battle with the owners.

Listen to Ric Bucher and Brian Berger discussing the NBA CBA here.

High Interest Lockout Loans May Lead to Bankruptcy for Some NFL Players

As the NFL lockout continues, NFL players are getting more nervous by the day about loss of income this fall if there are no games.'s Rand Getlin joined us on Sports Business Radio to discuss a story he wrote detailing high interest loans that are being secured by NFL players during the lockout.

Could the loans lead to bankruptcy for several NFL players?

Listen to Rand Getlin on Sports Business Radio by clicking here.

Podcast: 3-hour Sports Business Radio Bonanza Featuring Jack Nicklaus, Mark Cuban and Mark Emmert

We celebrated 7 years of Sports Business on our Portland show on 95.5FM The Game today with a look back at interviews with Jack Nicklaus, Mark Cuban and NCAA President Mark Emmert.

We also talked about The Masters, the upcoming home debut of the Portland Timbers, changes in how security is handled at Dodger Stadium and we recapped the final TV and online ratings for the NCAA tournament.

Take a listen to the podcast of our show on The Game in Portland below.

To listen to Hour 1 (featuring conversation with Mark Cuban), click here.

To listen to Hour 2 (featuring conversation with Mark Emmert), click here.

To listen to Hour 3 (featuring conversation with Jack Nicklaus), click here.

Looking Back on 7 Years of Sports Business Radio

Seven years ago this week Sports Business Radio launched on NewsRadio 750AM KXL in Portland. SBR Co-Founder Keith Forman joined me on the maiden voyage and our first guest was NBA Commissioner David Stern. (Listen to our show this week and I'll have a special audio clip from a favor Commissioner Stern did for me following the interview......hint: It made this NBA wannabe's dream come true).

Our show's mission was and continue's to be, "We Talk to the People Who Call the Shots in the World of Sports".

I look back over the course of the past 7 years and there are so many highlights.

I've had the opportunity to go one-on-one with a few men who sit atop their sports - NBA Commissioner David Stern, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, late NCAA President Dr. Myles Brand and now the current NCAA President Mark Emmert and BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock. 

Team owners such as Portland Trail Blazers/Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Washington Wizards/Caps owner Ted Leonsis, Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof have joined me to explain some of the key decisions they've made with their franchises as well as share with us the business strategies that have made them successful over the years.

And I've even had the opportunity to chat with several athletes about their business interests. Jack Nicklaus talked about his successful golf course design company that is introducing the game of golf to people around the globe. Oscar de la Hoya spoke about being a successful boxing promoter and part owner of an MLS franchise. Steve Nash shared with us his passion for his charitable foundation as well as his thoughts about his first trip to China when I was with Nash in Beijing in 2007. Former Dallas Cowboys great Roger Staubach joined us to tell us about his race car team and how he interned during his offseasons to learn the real estate business. And Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg, who I idolized as a kid, joined me to talk about working his way up the ladder as a baseball manager so he can one day hopefully manage a major league baseball franchise.

Even tennis great John McEnroe joined us on the show and serenaded our audience from his hotel room in Paris with "Purple Haze" (one of my favorite moments in our show's history).

If you would have told me 7 years ago that our show would make it to this point and that I'd have a guest list like the one mentioned above, I would have been thrilled. And now looking back on it, if I never do another show, I'd be very proud of what we've done to this point.

Our Sports Business Radio team has been the best part of this voyage though.


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Congrats to Linda Dowden for winning the Sports Business Radio March Madness Bracket Challenge

Linda Dowden is the winner of our Sports Business Radio March Madness Bracket Challenge. Linda was the only person in our field who correctly picked UConn to win the national championship. See Linda on top of the standings here.

Linda should contact me at about coming on the show to gloat!

Congrats again to Linda and thanks to all who entered our competition.

I finished in the top 10 so I can show my face in public.

VCU Athletic Director Norwood Teague on Sports Business Radio

March Madness is upon us and there's not a more compelling story in this year's tournament than the run VCU has made to the Final Four. The Rams' men's basketball team has notched upsets over Georgetown, Purdue and No. 1 seed Kansas while busting brackets in the process.

I had the chance to catch up with VCU Athletic Director Norwood Teague to discuss the team's success, what the run to the Final Four has meant to Virginia Commonwealth University, if the team is ready to activate around the spotlight the team has brought to the university and the future of 33-year old VCU men's basketball coach Shaka Smart - who has turned himself into a hot commodity with the way he has coached and conducted himself.

Listen to my conversation with VCU Athletic Director Norwood Teague by clicking here (Norwood Teague is first interview listed on the page).

Greg Shaheen (The Man Who Makes March Madness Happen for the NCAA) on Sports Business Radio


Greg Shaheen, NCAA Interim Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances joined me on Sports Business Radio this week. Shaheen oversees 89 championships in all for the NCAA including the Division I Men's Basketball Championship better known as March Madness.

Shaheen and I discussed the tournament field expanding from 65 to 68 teams this year and I asked him why the NCAA felt the need to tinker with a wildly successful formula.

We also discussed the NCAA's new 14 year/$10.8 Billion TV contract with CBS and Turner. Every tournament game will be broadcast live on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV.

I even asked Shaheen about the chances of he and his team organizing another championship for the NCAA any time soon - an NCAA Division I football playoff.

I always enjoy my conversations with Greg Shaheen. I find him to be candid and insightful. He's one of the most powerful people in sports, but you'd never know it by his humble nature. 

Listen to our conversation by clicking here.

You can also read the transcript of our conversation below.

Dissecting the Improprieties with the Football Programs at Ohio State and Oregon

Over the past few weeks, we've had in-depth conversations on Sports Business Radio about the improprieties inside the Ohio State and Oregon football programs.

Click here for my conversation on Sports Business Radio with Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports who broke both the Ohio State and Oregon stories.

Click here for my conversation on Sports Business Radio with Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports' We had an in-depth discussion about the situation at the University of Oregon. Rand is also the President of Synrgy Sports - a company that assists compliance departments with educating coaches and athletes so they stay within the proper "guardrails". 

After listening to our conversations, you will see that the messes Ohio State and Oregon find themselves in are far from over.

Sports Business Radio March Madness Bracket Challenge

Its that time of the year again - where the team at Sports Business Radio competes against our listeners to see who will have bragging rights when it comes to correctly picking the Men's Division I Basketball Championship games.

Its FREE to enter our March Madness bracket. All you have to do is click on THIS LINK and then type in the password SportsBiz.

The winner of the Sports Business Radio March Madness Bracket Challenge will have his/her name mentioned on our radio show and will be acknowledged as the King/Queen of all of college basketball.

We'll also have a prize for the winning bracket.

NOTE: We will only accept ONE bracket per person. The key word is person. Don't fill out a bracket for your dog, cat or goldfish. If we see you have more than ONE bracket, we will only count the first bracket you submitted.

Good luck!

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