Clemson-Notre Dame Smashes NBA Finals Ratings

Sports media members will tell you, “all sports TV ratings are down big.” Those who can’t read ratings even fall for it. Saturday, college football proved the disingenuous industry wrong, again.

Notre Dame’s 47-40 win over Clemson averaged 9.44 million viewers across NBC Sports platforms, which is the highest Notre Dame on NBC game in 15 years.

Clemson-Notre Dame’s regular-season viewership smashes every single NBA Finals game this season. The political-led Finals averaged a putrid, all-time low 7.45 million viewers. The college football game, which stayed out of politics, will crush the NBA even worse on Tuesday when it adds its out-of-home viewership.

(Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)

Between 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET, the game’s second overtime, the showdown peaked at 14.2 million viewers.

You might see this and think the NBA and the media will see how far-left politics kill a brand. Instead, NBA PR reps like Stephen A. Smith will just push it harder. On Friday, Stephen A. skipped the college and NFL discussion and previewed the upcoming NBA season. Yes, a month before it begins.

Saturday night, college football crushed the NBA’s ratings and Notre Dame stormed the field — it was a horrible night for the woke.

Good for college football. What a game. What a result.

*NBC says the viewership does not include the portion of the game that was interrupted on NBC by coverage of President-elect Joe Biden’s speech.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.


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  1. I would think the Irish vs. Clemson minus Trevor Lawerence with playoff implications is much more relevant than a sport who’s season is a month and a half away is a little more “newsworthy.”

  2. Compared to its own ratings, more than half of its audience disappeared compared to last year’s already low ratings. That is definitely newsworthy, and needs to be continually contextualized so that we can be sure it is just the NBA that has tanked its business model.

    • Thanks for the links Rohan. I’m curious to research this a little more. The Stanley cup link seems to say this is the least watched cup since 2007, only 13 years, not in the history of the league like what I understand the average of the NBA finals was. The baseball isn’t quite as cut and dry either from this link, as this link just says the game was the least watch game 6 of baseball. It still drew 10 million viewers, and was a higher rating then game 5 of last years series. Again, to compare to the NBA finals, if I remember right, 2-3 of those games were record lows of any games in history. Not just a particular game, like game 6 to other game sixes. Just not sure, even with these links, it can be said that MLB and NHL did as historically poor in the ratings as the NBA did.

  3. Not a hard equation here, college football and the NFL are the most dominant sports in America. Even March Madness out-draws the NBA. Better quality products draw more customers. College football is the Chick Fil-A drive thru with 82 cars in line, overflowing into the street. The NBA is the Burger King Drive thru with 4 cars in line, including a G’d up Hoopty D’ville and behind it are 4 stoned college kids in their Mom’s Subaru wagon. Grown ups, especially the intelligent ones, MUCH prefer college football.

  4. MLB and the NHL didn’t turn their leagues into PAC’s overnight because of Trump Hate. The NBA did. It turned off a lot of viewers. Some of the lower viewership has to do with other factors than the BLM/Biden propagandizing, but those other factors are not as large as the politicization of the NBA. That’s why.

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