NBA playoff ratings 'crush' broadcasts of Democratic National Convention

Sam Amico

Multiple news outlets have spent a lot of time focusing on ratings for broadcasts of NBA games, and the evidence shows those ratings have not been great.

But so far, the league appears to be drawing more eyeballs than programming on other networks -- and that includes no less than the Democratic National Convention, according to Anthony Crupi of sports-business website Sportico.

"If the first day of playoff action didn’t exactly set the Nielsen meters on fire, the games still outperformed everything on broadcast TV," Crupi reported. "Even the lowest-rated of the four telecasts easily out-delivered the networks’ coverage of the Democratic National Convention, while the Mavs-Clippers outing that aired directly opposite the NBC, CBS and ABC broadcasts crushed Joe Biden’s opening night in the 18-49 demo. (In fact, you’d have to add up all three networks’ demo 10 p.m. deliveries to equal ESPN’s performance in the hour.)"

The NBA playoffs began Monday on the Disney campus, and despite playing a season in August and being forced to go head-to-head with the NHL and MLB, the league's TV ratings seem to be steadying after a rocky restart.

Per Crupi, "the first day of the coronavirus-delayed 2020 NBA playoffs put up some unexceptional numbers on ESPN Monday, as the four-game set averaged 1.72 million viewers, a 1.2 household rating and a little more than 940,000 adults 18-49."

Using only that data, you would think the NBA is really struggling -- and there's no denying there may be reason for concern when it's time to negotiate a new TV deal.

But as Crupi reported, the ratings for all network programming has taken a massive hit this summer, dropping to an average of 73.8 million broadcast and cable viewers per night. In April, the average number of viewers was considerably higher at 91.2 million, and April is typically when the NBA playoffs begin.

"Network TV has taken a few elbows to the face, as the Big Four nets are down 42% versus the spring with an average draw of just 10.2 million viewers per night," Crupi added.

Knowing all that, it appears the networks and advertisers aren't yet all that concerned with the NBA's ratings woes.

"As long as advertisers are willing to pay more for fewer impressions, the NBA ratings will remain a non-issue," Crupi wrote.

Comments (28)
No. 1-16
pd1956
pd1956

The league will pay big time for it's nauseating over the top embrace of BLM. Many fans are turned off by the tone deaf love fest with a Marxist organization plus the Chinese problem. A more measured response would have sufficed.

pd1956
pd1956

Test patterns got better ratings than the Dimm convention.

VirgilN
VirgilN

A Spurs fan since 1983...No more... BLM killed every single game in my house...and Big mouth Pop doesn’t help...

greenjets
greenjets

it's hilarious how tone deaf media outlets are as to the reasons of the viewing decline. Far more people, including myself, friends, and family members, all consciously tuned out due to the mixing of socialist politics and racist agendas with basketball

sacdiddy
sacdiddy

tuned into see 1st lakers game since reopen. saw BLM painted on the court. turned it right back off. gg nba.

diogenesespeaks
diogenesespeaks

I want to watch basketball - not get a political lecture. I can't believe The NBA is alienating so much of its audience. I also will buy NBA merchandise at Modells, Dicks and other sporting good stores. JUST PLAY BALL. That's what you are good at. You are not political scientists. How many BLM followers have begun watching the NBA because of the political nonsense. Yet how many sports fans have left. The media doesn't have to report on this, because everyday folks are talking about it.

diogenesespeaks
diogenesespeaks

I tune in to the NBA to see basketball and not get lectured about politics. I stopped watching and will not buy NBA merchandise fro sporting good stores. JUST PLAY BALL. That's what you are good at, and why you are millionaires. You are not political scientists so keep your opinions off the court.

antonioforlife
antonioforlife

Haven't watched a game. and won't to political

celab320
celab320

Haven't watched a sec of the sham restart. Let them enjoy their bubble. Good bye NBA.

Stewy6riffin
Stewy6riffin

My comments mirror the above. Early on I was going to watch the Pacers but turned it off with the blm painting on the floor. Additionally, the first time I see any garbage behavior from NFL players, the NFL is history. I have been reading novels. Shut up and dribble.

Bildo
Bildo

Dodgers fan first, Lakers fan second. Lebron already turned me off to the Lakers. Noticed BLM on the pitching mound around the 6th inning, turned the game off.

bluepastry
bluepastry

WHO THE HELL WANTS TO WATCH EITHER THE NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, KNEELERS OT THE LEFTIST BLM LOVING COP HATING MILLIONAIRES. ALL WHO ARE WEARING OR USING SLAVE MADE CHINA MERCHANDISE ? I AM BROWN AND I LEFT THE DEMOCRAT PLANTATION. AM ALSO A FORMER SPORTS REPORTER, CAMERAMAN , PRODUCER AND KNOW WHAT SPOILED BS ARTISTS THESE PEOPLE ARE. I LEFT THE DEMOCRAT PLANTATION. I GAVE UP ALL SPORTS. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WATCH SPORTS. THE NB IS THE NATIONAL TRAVELERS ON THE COURT. LEBRON TAKES 5 STEPS TO BASKET, AS DID JORDAN, BUT NO WALKING OR TRAVELING CALLED. BBALL PLAYERS CANNOT EVEN PITCH COMPLTE GAMES OF PLAY A FULL SEASON! NFL IS SO BAD NOW, THEY NEED DOMES, CANCEL GAMES IN BAD WEATHER, NATIONAL FELONS LEAGUE. ALL PUSSIFIED PERSONIFIED! AS FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED AND THEIR UNINFORMED NORONIC REPORTERS? WHO THE HELL WATCHES ESPN OR READS THAT PIECE OF LEFTIST CRAP SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas

Too much politics. No more NBA for me.

DWarner
DWarner

These comments are hilarious. People mad at all these groups for whining about Americans dying at the hands of brutal law enforcement organizations, and here we see 4 out of 5 commenters whining about their television viewing opportunities! Man you guys got it bad, don't you?! How dare these ingrates mess up your TV entertainment, right??!!

The NBA doesn't give a damn about viewers who skew to the far-right. They clearly understand they lost most of those viewers when Larry Bird retired. Another good chunk left with Michael Jordan's final retirement. And since then, the NBA did the research, figured out that you guys were the smallest consumer group of their product, and pivoted to a new approach. If you're not relevant to their bottom line, your viewpoints and comments are basically irrelevant, aren't they?

What's funny to me is we're not hearing this complaint only of the NBA product and games, but of sports reporting overall. When conservative viewers tune into ESPN Sports Center and FOX Sports to watch guys like Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith, it's the same thing. They're saying they're turned off by having to consume their sports and someone else's political views at the same time, so they're tuning out...

If you're old enough to remember, as an American back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's, probably times you refer to as the good 'ole days, you might recall that your parents didn't have a Fox News and a CNN to watch for 24 hours a day. We had ABC, NBC, CBS, and we all listened to much of the same information. Now, your ideologies couldn't be further from perhaps even your next door neighbor.

So while there are a lot of you disgruntled conservative viewers, you really don't matter in this equation. Just like Black and Brown people's problems don't really matter either. It's kinda funny... Both groups desires overlooked. But which is more important? Television Rights? Or Civil Rights? According to many of the readers, it's not the latter...

I do think it's inevitable we'll start to see more sports programming geared to your type in the future, so rest easy. We're so divided about everything it will be foolish for the networks to think we could ever be on one page about anything anymore. Look for the CSN: Conservative Sports Network or AASN: All-American Sports Network to be coming to a channel near you. Until then, just tune out and they won't even miss you.

soupyjpt
soupyjpt

Nice soliloquy. Long winded & you still don't get it. Blahblahblah

rnj310
rnj310

Will never watch another game until the league removes all political references to BLM and other "justice causes" on the court, the jerseys and everywhere else. It's offensive.


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