NBA Ratings Continue To Plummet, Broadcasts Are Down 18 Percent On TNT

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David Hookstead Sports And Entertainment Editor
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The NBA appears to have a serious TV ratings problem on its hands.

SportsBusiness Journal reported the following Monday:

The drop-off is most pronounced in some of the league’s biggest markets, like New York (down 41 percent on MSG Network), Chicago (down 36 percent on NBC Sports Chicago) and Boston (down 27 percent on NBC Sports Boston). Ratings for Bulls games in Chicago are at their lowest point in at least 13 years as the team has struggled on the court with one of the NBA’s worst records.

The local ratings story mirrors a national trend that has seen sluggish TV numbers for NBA games so far this season. National games are down 18 percent on TNT and 17 percent on NBA TV. ABC is down 3 percent, and ESPN is flat. 

It’s also worth noting that Cavaliers games are down 56 percent since LeBron took his talents to Los Angeles, according to the same report. The Lakers have seen a big jump. That’s about the only part of this report that actually makes a lot of sense. Obviously, the ratings were going to tank in Cleveland and go up in L.A. following LeBron’s free agency decision.


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As for the rest of the league, it’s an absolute disaster. They’re down on three of four networks, and just even on ESPN.

I’m not sure how much worse it could get. A couple weekends ago, a college game between Duke and Virginia crushed a national NBA broadcast on ABC. The same NBA game between the Thunder and Rockets got beat by the debut of the AAF. (RELATED: Alliance Of American Football Beats Pro Golf And The NBA In TV Ratings)

That should have been a pretty good indication that the NBA was in big trouble.

I honestly don’t know why the NBA ratings are so hampered. LeBron moving out west, which means half the country is asleep when his games start, could have something to do with it. I seriously don’t have a clue.

Maybe people are just losing interest in the NBA because we kind of all just expect the Warriors to win the title every year. There isn’t a ton of competition these days.


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What I do know for sure is that the league better get it figured out because these ratings aren’t good at all. They’re embarrassing, and they’ll only likely get worse if something isn’t done soon.

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