he NBA’s television doldrums so far this season are happening at the local level, too, where regional sports network ratings from 28 U.S.-based teams had dropped 10 percent on average at the All-Star break compared to the same point last year. Overall, most of the country’s RSNs have posted ratings gains this season; 15 have seen TV ratings increases in the first part of the season, and 13 have seen TV ratings decreases. (Information for Memphis and Toronto was not available at press time.)
The drop-off is most pronounced in some of the league’s biggest markets, like New York (down 41 percent on MSG Network), Chicago (down 36 percent on NBC Sports Chicago) and Boston (down 27 percent on NBC Sports Boston). Ratings for Bulls games in Chicago are at their lowest point in at least 13 years as the team has struggled on the court with one of the NBA’s worst records.
More than halfway through the regular season, NBA ratings have fallen. The real plummet has been on Turner, which started with a LeBron-less opening night and has been playing from behind ever since. The network is down 22 percent compared to this point last year.
ESPN is also off, but just 5 percent. ABC was up 5 percent on Christmas Day in a slate that was headlined in prime time by James’ Lakers against the Warriors. ABC tips off its weekly Saturday night coverage this weekend, which will offer a truer gauge.
The NBA feels it is on the upswing as Turner/ESPN/ABC were up 3 percent in December compared to November. Maybe this will be a trend, but so far — like the teams he plays on — the viewing might be a little too overdependent on James.
July 23, 2021 | 4:06 pm EDT Update
Chris Boyle: Former Deltona High and #UCF big man Chad Brown (@chadthebeast_21) is heading to the #NBA Summer League with the Golden State Warriors #DubNation
Joe Mussatto: Scottie Barnes on meeting with the Thunder: “That went pretty well, getting to know their people, their program and their staff … It was a bunch of people who just seemed loyal, trying to get their program on top.”
“Waves” is the second single off Kawhi’s Culture Jam, with the first coming in the form of the track “Everything Different” with YoungBoy Never Broke Again and Rod Wave. Doing his best DJ Khald impersonation, Kawhi brings together some of the biggest names in rap to create a common ground for creativity and success.
July 23, 2021 | 3:43 pm EDT Update
Could the 76ers trade the No. 28 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft at the Barclays Center? A league source confirmed the team has had discussions about parting ways with the pick if they can get value in return. The Sixers are open to trading it for future assets or veteran player. Trade discussions could heat up early next week, though it’s not a certainty that they’ll trade the pick.