Report: Adam Silver surprised by low ratings for NBA Finals
The television ratings for the NBA finals were at an all-time low. Game 3's 5.9 million viewers were the fewest for an NBA final game ever (at least since 1984 when they started tracking the final numbers). The second lowest was Game 2 of these 2020 NBA Finals.
This surprised Adam Silver, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.
According to sources, Commissioner Adam Silver is still surprised by the small audience when LeBron James chases his fourth title at the age of 35. Silver is aiming for the NBA Finals not to play in the crowded sports month of October next year.
Silver has made general comments that may suggest that the emphasis on Black Lives Matter has resulted in a drop in ratings.
Right-wing speakers and politicians have tried to score points because the NBA's focus on "Black Lives Matter / Social Justice" has violated ratings - Mark Cuban and Senator Ted Cruz spat about it on a Twitter.
However, this argument does not hold water. It's not just the NBA ratings that have fallen. Sports ratings across the board are very successful: Here at NBC in particular, ratings for the Stanley Cup Finals, the Kentucky Derby and the US Golf Open were down by roughly the same percentage as for the NBA. Other broadcast networks see the same thing. Even the Juggernaut NFL has some rough rating points (Thursday night, for example).
It's not all political. Part of the decline could be sports that are out of season - and now lots of sports competing for eyeballs in the same window this fall. The lack of fans in the stands can affect the broadcast product and the energy surrounding the sport. There is also a heated presidential election that puts the nations first.
The coronavirus pandemic, in particular, has changed much of American life. It shouldn't be a surprise that happened to sports viewers as well.
The real question is when - and if - those ratings will bounce back.
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Review: Adam Silver, surprised by low ratings for NBA Finals, originally appeared on NBCSports.com
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