There is this mixed storyline around the NBA media about how their national television ratings are down. And to be frank, the numbers that came out recently do say so, with fewer people not watching compared to last year. So what’s going on here, why are the TV ratings down, and does it matter to the NBA?
Let’s face it, out of all the other sports; the NBA is the biggest soap opera. It’s a star-driven league, and the entire NBA season, and pre-season, are fabricated around headlines, superstars, and stories. Every sport has dramatic headlines and scandals to boost exposure and demand. But all that noise doesn’t matter, come Playoffs and Finals. By then, it’s just pure, beautiful basketball, which is why everyone tunes in then and floats around in the regular season.
So the numbers are down this year, and everyone has their own opinion on why that is so. Some are blaming the similarity of play-style across the league. Some think the length of the regular season is too long. Or some blame the abundance of 3-pointers, load management, cable vs. broadcast, injuries, and everything above. There’s even an article that compares Reddit NBA comment activity, which is super fascinating.
I read most of these articles trying to find if there was an apparent reason, but nothing stood out. The only thing that made sense to me, was the reason I started this little project in the first place. The Playoffs and Finals are easy to follow, but it’s nearly impossible in the regular season. The games are all spread out throughout the week, all at different times (late and super late), which is why they need the dramatization. It’s not stable with set days and times like the NFL. So the NBA needs different ways to boost games on a random Wednesday, and if it’s not strong enough then the competition, then it drops like it has this year. Should the NBA be worried? I say no, it’s not going anywhere, and Adam Silver agrees.
Catch you Monday.