Sports

NBA Ratings Tank For Game One Of The Finals Between The Raptors And Warriors

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

The TV ratings were atrocious Thursday night when the Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors in game one of the NBA finals.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Game 1 is expected to have had just over 14 million viewers when the numbers are finalized. That’s an 18% decline from a year ago and the lowest in a decade.

THR also noted this is the first time since 2011 LeBron James isn’t playing in the finals, which I’m sure has some kind of impact on the pathetic numbers. (RELATED: Game 2 Of Bucks/Raptors Series Draws Lowest TV Ratings Since 2007)

 

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If you’re an NBA executive, these numbers should have you extremely concerned for two reasons. One, the Warriors are one of the biggest brands in sports and apparently are still struggling to draw viewers.

That’s really bad news for the league. When people don’t watch a team with three titles in the past four years, you know you’re in big trouble.

If Steph Curry can’t generate eyeballs, then the league has some big problems to deal with.

 

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Two, and maybe more importantly, this goes to show how badly the league needs LeBron James. Ratings have been bad for a while, and James’ absence is probably a major reason why.

King James moves the needle like just about nobody else in sports ever could dream of doing, and the Lakers didn’t even make the playoffs.

Any league is in trouble when it relies so heavily on one single player.

 

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I have no idea what the solution is for the NBA, but they better figure it out before it gets much worse. What an embarrassing situation for the league.

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