NBA Finals Game 2 Ratings — Neither As Bad Nor As Good As They Seem

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Because of its dependence on CCP money and the woke activism of many of its players and coaches, the NBA has turned some loyal fans off many times in the last several years.

But Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors was not one of those times. Not really, anyway.

Though Game 1 drew very poor ratings, Game 2 — which Golden State won decisively, 107-88 — actually did quite well, not only in comparison to Game 1 but in comparison to recent years.


In the past four years, Game 2 of the NBA Finals has drawn 11.91 million (2022)*, 9.38 million (2021), 6.61 million (2020 COVID/bubble season), and 14.05 million (2019). So while, 2022 numbers are a sizable drop from the numbers of 2019, they are also a tremendous improvement over 2020 and even 2021.

A Twitter sports TV ratings guy, with the apt Twitter handle SportsTVRatings, frames the story with his glass half empty:

And he’s got a point. As bad as the 2022 numbers are compared to 2019, things get even worse the further back we go. Game 2 used to be must-see TV, as were all NBA Finals games. In 2018, Game 2 garnered nearly 18.5 million viewers, nearly 19.7 million in 2017, about 17.5 million in 2016, and back up to about 19.2 in 2015.

From this perspective, the 2019 comparison looks rather arbitrary, except that 2019 is also the last time the Warriors were in the Finals. But the Warriors were also in the Finals every year from 2015-2018 as well, so the drop in numbers could reflect just as poorly on the Warriors’ appeal as it does on the appeal of the NBA Finals more generally.

Bottom line: the numbers for Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals aren’t great, but they are a notable improvement over the previous three seasons.

However, the Celtics had better turn on the jets for Game 3 at home this Wednesday. Though they managed to steal one from the Warriors in San Francisco, they may not win another game in the series if they have a performance like they had on Sunday night.

And viewers will likely tune them out as well.

*Simulcasts likely add approximately 500,000 viewers to the overall total.

Written by Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil has a PhD in Shakespearean drama but now spends her days reading and writing about her first passion: sports. She loves God, her husband, and all things Michigan State.


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  1. The lack of appeal of the league (due to social justice BS), the teams/players (Warriors are a rerun, Celts have little national appeal), and the gameplay (constant blowouts, bad refs, nothing but 3’s) make it unlikely that they will ever approach the previous heights of even the last 5-10 years. They have no one but themselves to blame.

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