NBA TV Ratings Continue To Slump


Apparently, NBA fans miss LeBron James. Or they’re sick of the Golden State Warriors.

Or they don’t care about the Toronto Raptors.

Whatever the reason, ratings for the NBA Finals are down from last year’s horrible series between the Warriors and the Cavaliers.

At least in the U.S.

In Canada, fans are tuning in to the series in droves, though that doesn’t help network executives at ABC, the network that’s broadcasting the NBA Finals in America.

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Ratings for Game 2 on Sunday were down roughly 20 percent from Game 2 last year, when the Warriors beat James and the Cavaliers 122-103 en route to four-game sweep, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

On Sunday, the Warriors’ beat the Raptors 109-104 to even the series at one game apiece. It was a wild finish, as the Raptors made a furious comeback but lost after Warriors guard Andre Iguodala hit a game-sealing 3-pointer with about six seconds left.

Game 2 “delivered a 10.2 household rating in overnight metered markets,” THR reported, which was “off about 20 percent from Game 2 in 2018 (12.7).”

Overall, Game 2 averaged about 13.89 million U.S. viewers.

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ABC had virtually no competition Sunday night, with the other major networks largely airing reruns.

In primetime, ABC averaged a 3.4 rating among adults between the ages of 18 and 49, which was “more than the combined total for NBC (0.5), Univision (0.4), CBS (0.3), Fox (0.3), Telemundo (0.2) and The CW (0.1),” according to THR.

Game 2 was up a tick from the 10.1 household rating that Game 1 of the series did on Thursday.

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Game 1 averaged 13.31 million viewers in the U.S., down 23 percent from 2018’s Game 1.

It’s worth noting that another 3.5 million viewers in Canada tuned in to Game 1, which was the most ever for a basketball game in that country.

Meanwhile, the series moves to Oakland on Wednesday.

Warriors backup center Kevon Looney is out for Game 3, while guard Klay Thompson, who strained his hamstring in Game 2, is questionable, The Associated Press reported.

Superstar forward Kevin Durant, who has missed the last seven games with a strained calf, is not expected to play, though it’s possible he could test his leg out at practice Tuesday.

If nothing else, the series has at least been far more competitive than the last two NBA Finals involving Golden State and Cleveland.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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