The last game of the NBA Finals – arguably the most important game of any NBA season – posted ratings that were about 66% lower than last year’s Game 6, according to Breitbart. It is the latest bad news in a stunning collapse in ratings for the league and, specifically, for the NBA Finals series this year.
For comparison, Sunday night’s Seahawks versus Vikings regular season NFL game, featuring one team that hasn’t won a game all year, had nearly twice the views of the game where LeBron James clinched his fourth NBA Championship, according to ShowBuzzDaily.
Recall, just days ago we noted that “Player Protests/Politics” were cited as a driving force as to why people were abandoning watching the NBA. In a recent poll on Yahoo Sports with 22,266 responses, people were asked why they thought the NBA’s ratings had dropped off. Player protests/politics was the overwhelming favorite, at 61%, as to why people are turning away from the NBA.
We also noted that Game 3 of the finals averaged just a 3.1 rating and 5.94 million viewers, making it “the least watched and lowest rated NBA Finals game on record,” according to Yahoo Sports. Days prior to that, we noted that Game 2 also saw a ratings collapse of 68% to all time lows.
Game 1 was the lowest viewed finals opener in history.
There really doesn’t seem to be much of a spin that the NBA can put on the terrible ratings, other than the league has simply lost the interest of many who would have once tuned in. In fact, one of the league’s most “outspoken” voices on oppression and racism, LeBron James, should have been the feature draw for this year’s finals.
Instead, it appears that he was exactly what is turning viewers away.
We have also been documenting the recent ratings collapse that the NFL has suffered in the midst of turning its league into a political movement over the last few months.
In early October the NFL reached out to players, telling them “not to worry” about the decline in ratings. Also in denial, they blamed the Presidential race for the drop in ratings, telling players: “The 2020 presidential election and other national news events are driving substantial consumption of cable news, taking meaningful share of audience from all other programming. Historically, NFL viewership has declined in each of the past six presidential elections.”