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NBA media got angry last year when a few writers covered the disastrous ratings for the NBA Finals. They claimed you couldn’t compare an out-of-season event during a global pandemic to past seasons. Interestingly though, those same media members have constantly compared this season’s viewership to last season.
The change of heart is not hypocrisy, it’s desperation. Viewers’ interest in the NBA is so low that ESPN has now decided to count last season’s ratings after all.
Had sports media writers stuck with its mindset that last year didn’t count in the ratings books, they’d have to admit that Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Finals averaged 8.56 million viewers on ABC, a 35% collapse from Game 1 in 2019.
Keep in mind, the media also told us that 2019 barely counted because the Raptors weren’t a USA team. So if 2019 tanked, what’s the word for 2021?
Please, let us know.
Oh, Game 1 is down 50% from Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. Might be noteworthy.
As a result of the mess, ESPN took a break from bowing to Maria Taylor’s outrageous salary demands and sent out this disingenuous spin-job:
Imagine bragging about getting 8.5 million viewers for the NBA Finals on ABC.
Because of the NBA’s epic collapse over the past few years, it’s become common for the NBA media to mislead its readers and viewers.
At the start of the season, The Associated Press put a story on its homepage bragging that the NBA’s opening week was up 95% in viewership year over year. That sounded good, until it was exposed as disingenuous. The story failed to note that the calendar didn’t line up. In 2019, the season tipped off on October 22, 2019. However, due to COVID-19 rescheduling, the 2020 season tipped on December 23, 2020, meaning its opening week included an event known as Christmas Day, the NBA’s top-rated regular-season event.
Oh, so ratings didn’t bounce back, the gullible realized.
So, which is it, NBA? Are we going to count 2020’s all-time low ratings, or should we skip 2020 and compare the Finals to the past few seasons?
The choice is yours. Either way, the numbers show that your league is tanking at an unbelievable rate.