NBA Ratings Continue To Crater Amid Social Justice Protest


The NBA may have come back to TV to play the second half of its COVID-delayed 2020 season, but judging by the dismal ratings, it appears the fans have not.

Ethan Strauss of The Athletic notes that the league’s ratings are coming in well under the pre-COVID break numbers.

ABC’s NBA broadcasts in 2019-20 averaged 2.95 million viewers, down from its 5.42 million during 2011-12, Strauss wrote. That is a 45 percent drop off.

Strauss also reported that TNT’s viewership is down 40 percent since the 2011-12 season, and ESPN has seen a decline of about 20 percent during the same time.

“While it’s easy to cite ‘cord-cutting’ as a catch-all explanation for what’s going on, keep in mind, Nielsen ratings do incorporate streaming services, albeit imperfectly,” Strauss reminded readers. “While some offer theories of pirated games, there just isn’t much evidence that a massive population engages in that, at least not at the scale that would explain this big a drop.”

Strauss is not the only source pointing out the NBA’s steady spiral. In… (Read more)

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