MediaFile

No NBA games on TV? American Chopper still rolling

The NBA season should have begun last night. The big match-up was supposed to be between the Dallas Mavericks and the Chicago Bulls. But of course that never materialized.

It’s unfortunately nearing the point where the league will be hard-pressed to play a full season, even if an agreement is reached soon. Only so many games can be squeezed into January, February and March.

So what is a fan to do? Look around for other entertainment, probably, whether that’s NCAA basketball or ice hockey. Or Storm Chasers. Or American Chopper.

In fact, Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav, whose networks broadcast those two shows plus a host of other adventure and science programs that draw a male 18-49 demographic, could be a beneficiary of the NBA lockout. He was asked just that question on a conference call.

“Look, on the NBA front, having male audience available is an opportunity for us,” he said while discussing his company’s quarterly earnings .”We do have an overlap with sports viewership, it should work out to our advantage, but we’re taking a wait and see attitude.”

Icahn vs Lions Gate heating up

Not so fast Mr. Icahn. Lions Gate Entertainment is trying to defend itself against famed financier Carl Icahn by hiring an advisory team, including investment bank Morgan Stanley and the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz.

It also is in talks to offer a board seat to Mark Rachesky of MHR Fund Management, the studio’s largest shareholder.

Icahn controls 14.5 percent of Lions Gate’s shares and wants to increase his sway, seemingly because he’s frustrated with things like costs and the company’s decision to buy the TV Guide cable channel.