NBA commissioner Adam Silver casually let drop the bombshell news that the NBA will remove the name of the Marxist revolutionary organization Black Lives Matter from its basketball courts and player jerseys next season. This comes following catastrophic ratings declines to all-time lows for the league’s playoff games. From Sports Illustrated:
While the NFL is only suffering from a very slight ratings dip, the NBA has seen a severe viewer tune out. The question is, just how alarmed should the league be by this development?
Here are the numbers for the first three games of the Finals between the Heat and Lakers.
Game 1: 7.4 million viewers
Game 2: 6.1 million viewers
Game 3: 5.9 million viewers
Those numbers for Game 2 and 3 are all-time lows for the NBA Finals.
YouTube screen grab.
There are some mitigating factors in terms of competing programming for Games 2 and 3, but they don’t begin to account for the magnitude of the crash:
The real issue is that the first game drew seven million viewers while last year’s Finals between the Warriors and Raptors averaged 15.1 million viewers.
Speaking with friendly interviewer Rachel Nichols of ESPN on that network’s NBA Countdown show, at the end of an interview focused mainly on COVID prevention issues came the following exchange, via Citizen Free Press: (see link)
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