NBA Finals ratings continue to crater, games are least watched in history

by Peter Heck · Oct 6th, 2020 12:03 pm
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Last Updated Oct 7th, 2020 at 12:06 pm

The NBA Finals continue to experience historically low television ratings, even as the underdog Miami Heat are a game within pulling even with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Game 1 of the league's championship series brought in the lowest viewership for a finals opener since 1994. The second game of the series was worse, marking the lowest ever finals game recorded. Just days later, Game 3 eclipsed that ignominious mark, itself becoming the least watched game in NBA Finals history.

The league is seeing a jarring 70% decline in viewership since last year, despite featuring the league's marquee player in LeBron James and two major market teams from both coasts.

🔦 The NBA returned with much anticipation after a long drought of sports-related television programming, but critics say the league has spent too much of its return to play focusing on divisive racial and political messaging rather than the game itself. A Harris poll from early September seems to indicate many fans agree.


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