The TV ratings for the NBA playoffs have been very impressive with LeBron James no longer in the field.
With LeBron James and the Lakers watching from home after losing in the first round, some fans and leaders of the blue checkmark brigade might think that ratings would fall even further. Turns out, fans are actually watching the playoffs much more than they did in 2020, despite King James being gone. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
According to a tweet from NBA Communications, ratings through the conference semifinals are up 39% from 2020, and games are averaging 3.5 million viewers across TNT, ABC and ESPN.
Furthermore, The Bucks beating the Nets in game seven had nearly seven million viewers and the Hawks eliminating the 76ers had 6.2 million viewers.
They’re the two most-watched games of the postseason.
Viewership for the 2021 NBA Playoffs across TNT, ESPN and ABC is up +39% vs. last season.
???? ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/yHlwr6Pey7
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 22, 2021
I love everything about this data. The numbers destroy the narrative that LeBron has to be elevated as the face of the league and protected at all cost.
Despite the fact he didn’t make it out of the first round, NBA ratings are up in a huge way compared to 2020.
Why is that? There are probably a lot of reasons, but you can’t count out the fact the man who alienated a large chunk of the fanbase isn’t around anymore. That means more casual fans might tune in.
Add in the fact that for the first time in decades the title really feels up for grabs and you have a recipe for success.
Watching the Bucks and Nets battle it out in game seven was the most fun I had watching an NBA game in years.
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It turns out the NBA can be a lot of fun when LeBron James isn’t making everything about himself and the ratings reflect that fact!
A quick exit for Lakers’ LeBron James after Game 6 loss. No handshakes on the court w/ the Suns pic.twitter.com/hv7S60KHRk
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) June 4, 2021
Let us know what you think about the ratings increasing in the comments below.