The 2020 NBA Finals between the LA Lakers and Miami Heat is just one day away. In these unprecedented times, the league has done a tremendous job in pulling off a successful tournament in the Orlando bubble. But it's not all sunshine and rainbows for the league as the latest NBA news update reports a staggering drop in TV ratings during the Conference Finals as compared to the previous year.
NBA News Update: Both Conference Finals saw a decrease in viewership as compared to last year
Historically, NBA TV ratings have always done well whenever LeBron James has featured. But this year, even though James and the LA Lakers were extremely popular among the fans, one of the Western Conference Finals saw a 41% drop in viewership as compared to a game between Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers last season.
NBA TV ratings for the Eastern Conference Finals suffered too. A game between Boston Celtics and Miami Heat dropped by 15% on ESPN as compared to last season's Toronto Raptors matchup with Milwaukee Bucks. When compared with NBA playoff TV ratings from 2018, there was an even bigger drop of 44% this time.
NBA News Update: Possible reasons behind the poor NBA TV ratings
While it's not easy to pinpoint the reason behind poor NBA TV ratings, sports reporter Carlos Garcia attributed it to a general change in consumer behavior:
"Some believe this all boils down to consumption habits. People are streaming more --both legally and illegally -- and watching TV less."
The league's involvement in political issues has also been regarded as one of the reasons for the plummeting NBA TV ratings. The NBA and its players have been vocal about recent police brutality incidents in the country, and this might have driven some fans away from watching the game.
The LA Lakers take on the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals tomorrow. As the series features two of the most popular teams in the league, it'll be interesting to see if the NBA TV ratings recover during the Finals.Published 30 Sep 2020, 00:51 IST