The 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.) But it was the size of the decreases — and the big markets where they occurred — that caused the overall RSN average to drop by double digits through Feb. 12.
According to Nielsen, the Mavericks enjoyed the highest regional TV ratings surge in the NBA this season. Dallas' 86 percent increases in viewership and ratings from last season to this season on Fox Sports Southwest surpassed No. 2 Denver's 77 percent increases. The average rating of Mavericks games on FSSW increased from 0.7 to 1.3. The numbers no doubt are a reflection of local excitement generated by the addition and play of rookie Luka Doncic, as well as late-season interest in the final games of Dirk Nowitzki's illustrious 21-season career.
TV ratings for games are down this season. The All-Star Game ratings were down. Silver said the league is struggling to reach the millions of fans from the target age 18-34 demographic who don't have cable or streaming packages. They care about the league but don't build the habit of watching games on TV or in person, a core tenet of creating revenue. "You see a tweet saying, 'Warriors-Rockets great matchup, Harden is going for 60.' The fact [is] you can't just [click] and get that game," Silver said. "That transactional friction has to be eliminated. We're being paid a lot of money to gate our content right now [by TV partners]. What's happening is demand and supply aren't meeting."
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 | 2:45 pm EDT Update
Kevin Durant still has off-season love for Southern California, it would seem. Two summers ago, the perennial All-Star bounced out of his oceanfront Malibu villa, selling the $12.2 million house to “CSI” television franchise creator Anthony Zuiker. A professional move from the NBA’s Golden State Warriors to the Brooklyn Nets soon followed. But now Durant is back, and the 32-year-old holds the keys to a $15.6 million mansion in Hidden Hills, a celebrity-packed guard-gated city in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley.
Built this year by a local developer on speculation, the house was pre-sold to Durant prior to its completion, and was never on the market — so details remain exceptionally slim. But the two-story mansion is large, probably around 10,000 square feet, and was designed in the trendy modern farmhouse architectural style. Sited near the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on a 1.8-acre lot, the spacious property is a literal stone’s throw from the $17.5 million mansion of fellow NBA star Ben Simmons.
While the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns went head-to-head in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White was more invested in another sporting event: the San Antonio Missions game against the Springfield Cardinals. White was on-site at Wolff Stadium Tuesday to throw out the first pitch at the game.
The Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame will induct the Class of 2021 on Tuesday, October 19, at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower. The event will be presented by Discount Drug Mart, and will feature PGA Professional and 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis, NBA stars Larry Nance, Sr. and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and the late sports media personality Les Levine.
July 23, 2021 | 2:22 pm EDT Update
Basketball greats Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen will head an all-star cast in a two-part ABC series centring on the life of their former Chicago Bulls teammate Luc Longley. In the Australian Story series scheduled to run on August 2 and 9, Longley breaks his silence on his relationship with Jordan and his bizarre omission last year from his three-time NBA championship teammate’s Netflix documentary, The Last Dance.