NBA television ratings 'unremarkable' after solid start to return
Following a strong opening night, ratings for broadcasts of NBA games have been "pretty ordinary," according to Sports Media Watch in a post titled "Unremarkable weekend for NBA."
According to the report, which cited the Nielsen ratings, the Houston Rockets' win over the Milwaukee Bucks averaged 2.44 million viewers and a 1.5 rating -- the highest of any non-Los Angeles Lakers or Christmas Day game of the season.
"In other action, ESPN averaged a 1.1 and 1.80 million for Lakers-Raptors on Saturday night and a 1.1 and 1.72 million for Rockets-Mavericks on Friday night, both above the network’s pre-hiatus average of just under 1.5 million," Sports Media Watch reported.
Twenty-two teams are resuming the season in Orlando, with many of the games being carried by national network partners ESPN/ABC and TNT.
Ratings were already suffering prior to the hiatus in March, according to a late February report from Sports Business Daily.
National television viewership for NBA games had nosedived 12 percent since the end of the season compared to 2018-19, per the Sports Business Daily story.
At the time, ABC ratings were down a whopping 16 percent, and that's the network that carries the Finals. "ABC, in particular, was hurt by lower numbers on Christmas and a slower start for its Saturday night slate," Sports Business Daily reported.
Meanwhile, TNT viewership was down 13 percent and ESPN was down 10 percent.
"Keep in mind that ABC’s games during the NBA restart are competing with RSN broadcasts in home markets, a departure from the network’s usual exclusivity," Sports Media Watch reminded.