There’s been some tremendous individual performances thus far during the NBA season. However, the intrigue just really isn’t there when it comes to a national audience.
The Los Angeles Lakers are dominating out west. A bunch of teams find themselves in the midst of the Eastern Conference race. James Harden is putting up historical numbers. Luka Doncic looks to be a legit MVP candidate.
Despite this, it seems that the average fan has tuned the NBA out through the first several weeks of the 2019-20 campaign.
Television ratings for national broadcasts on TNT are down 23% from a season ago. Meanwhile, similar broadcasts on ESPN are down 20%.
That is a dramatic decrease from just a season ago. Though, there are a few factors that have played a role in what the NBA is seeing from a viewership perspective.
- The NFL season is still going strong. With games on three nights a week, that has surely played a role in NBA television ratings.
- The Golden State Warriors currently boast the worst record in the Association after Monday night’s blowout loss to the Atlanta Hawks. No matter how people viewed the Warriors of the past five seasons, they were a ratings bonanza for the NBA.
- Star players such as Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are injured for their respective teams. All three have been major draws throughout their careers.
- Load management has been a major point of contention around the Association. For their part, the Los Angeles Clippers have already rested reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard twice in nationally televised games.
- The season is incredibly long. The average fan will start to tune in during the latter part of the regular season and during the playoffs. That’s when ratings will increase.
This isn’t good news for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Co. The league had grown in popularity over the past half-decade. That’s apparently no longer the case.