OT: NBA TV Ratings Way Down, Some Blaming Lebron to LA

Submitted by uofmfan_13 on January 17th, 2019 at 7:23 PM

NBA ratings way down on Turner (22%) and down 5% on ESPN to date.  Lebron to LA is hurting them in primetime in East, Central time zones.  


The NBA needs to take a page out of NCAA and pro football's play-book... scale back the season to 40 some games, make the match-ups dominated around weekends (Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night games only) and holidays, get rid of All-Star game break until after postseason, bring back one-and-done in first round of playoffs, make playoff seeding regardless of conference, and overall increase the drama and rivalries to increase the viewership. 

They won't though.  And when Lebron leaves... buh-bye big money contracts to guys riding the bench for 38 minutes a night. 


Chalky White

January 17th, 2019 at 9:35 PM ^

Anytime someone mentions the lack of defense in the NBA, the board goes off on a downvote spree. Then I look up and see a bunch of games where it takes 125 points to win. I'm not even counting the record offensive games this week. After a while, people get tired of watching the And 1 One Mix Tape Tour.

yossarians tree

January 18th, 2019 at 1:38 PM ^

I heartily disagree. From Bird/Magic through the Bad Boys/Bulls and even after the Pistons fell off and it was Chicago/Knicks etc. was the Golden Age of the NBA. Part of what made it so compelling was the physical play. Those games were chippy and very personal. A lot of the players hated each other's guts. Contrast to today's game where it is like a ballet out there and players even on rival teams are basically independent contractors who are best friends, jumping on each other's private jets after the games.


January 17th, 2019 at 11:36 PM ^

The NHL on CBC has Toronto and Montreal play at 7PM Eastern every Saturday night.  Maybe the NBA should make Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee or Houston host the early game on TNT.  All of those teams are good enough to draw viewers and it won't impact fans getting to the game after work.


January 17th, 2019 at 7:35 PM ^

I haven’t watched an NBA game in at least 15 years. I just don’t care for their style of game. I will watch college basketball’s worst teams before I turn that junk on.


January 17th, 2019 at 9:02 PM ^

I’d pay an irrational amount of money to watch a Knicks-Heat style murder series again but the growth of the league bears out that offense is what gets the most people watching. 

Steph, Klay and Harden would all score a ton in any era. They would probably have an even greater impact in a league that was objectively dumb about threes. 


January 18th, 2019 at 12:26 AM ^

This is what they need and what I would watch.  75-69 games wouldn't be any better than a 130-125 game.  What makes defense fun to watch is when a good defense goes up against a killer offense and can stop them, a la the Michigan Wolverines.  It's the same in the NFL or the MLB.  Everyone wants to see JV shut down the Yankees.  No one wants to see every team score 20 runs per game or 2 runs per game.  There needs to be some variation.


January 18th, 2019 at 12:00 AM ^

You're technically correct Michigan4life, but that doesn't mean it's not a travel by historical standards of basketball.

That NBA travel rule drives me crazy. And Harden still often travels, despite that rule.

James Harden is my least favorite basketball player. His ball-hogging, ISO, push-off, travel, low efficiency style drives me nuts.

He's unquestionably talented, but I hate his style of play.


January 17th, 2019 at 9:17 PM ^

Playing defense is a lot harder because players are a lot more skilled than they used to be in the 80s and 90s. There are effort but you can play great defense but they can still put the ball into the hoop. 


Saying they don't play defense is just a lazy way of saying they haven't watch the NBA in the last 5-10 years


January 17th, 2019 at 9:58 PM ^

I'd argue that defense is better than in the 80s/90s because there's more diverse scheme and athleticism level of the current players. 

Current NBA players would hold the 80s teams to 70s/80s because of their sheer athleticism and ability to switch everything/rotate quickly. 

It's just that today's NBA players are so skilled and athletic that they can find ways to win easily. 


January 17th, 2019 at 9:11 PM ^

I don’t watch regular season NBA games. I don’t think that the games are meaningful enough. There’ll be a game where it’s hard to understand why one team is playing so poorly until you find out they are on the second night of a back-to-back or are finishing a 7 game road trip. I find playoff basketball much more interesting, but then I live on the West coast and get to watch good teams play.


January 17th, 2019 at 9:31 PM ^

This take is sooo tired.

You haven't watched in 15 years, yet you call it junk.

How many players and coaches are still around from when you quit the NBA? Basketball (and the NBA), just like football...has changed DRASTICALLY.

You can call it junk, if you've actually seen the product.

I don't love the NBA, for a number of reasons...I, too prefer college. But at least I've seen it and watch it occasionally. I don't like the NFL compared to college football either, but I wouldn't call it junk and follow it with "I haven't watched this decade!"

Makes no sense.


January 18th, 2019 at 10:48 AM ^

I just don't understand how someone can enjoy watching college basketball and call the NBA junk. There's so much more talent in the NBA. What exactly does the college game have that the NBA doesn't? A band playing every once in a while? I see people in here calling the NBA "soft" but it's not like college basketball is a more physical game.


January 17th, 2019 at 7:37 PM ^

Once LeBron leaves, there will be a new kid that the media pumps up.

I'm a huge LeBron fan, but a lot of this is because the media has basically indoctrinated us from the beginning that he is the Jesus of basketball. He is the NBA cash cow and he is allowed to do whatever he wants within the league (which includes rampant PED use).

Once he retires, they will just choose another guy. The NBA will be fine 


January 17th, 2019 at 11:57 PM ^

This is literally what happens in pro sports or Olympic sports. You also probably think that Lance Armstrong "never failed a test" and that FloJo just died randomly for no reason.

LeBron James takes PEDs. And I am a LeBron James GOATer because I am sure Michael also used. NBA actually may have the highest PED use of any league


January 18th, 2019 at 1:19 AM ^

that's not even close to the dumbest thing in your post.  people only like Lebron because of the media? So people aren't watching his greatness with their own eyes and deciding, you know what, that guy is good at basketball, I like watching him?  They need the media to tell them that?



January 17th, 2019 at 7:43 PM ^

Very little drama in NBA... A couple good teams and one great team.  Most games have almost no defense and no drama.  Like it or not, people like rivalries where each team hate each other.  Back when Pistons, Boston, Chicago and L.A were going at it, it was must watch.  Could you imagine Isaiah Thomas playing for Boston? Now, you have two of the games greatest players team hoping. Not saying they are wrong, it's just different. The day of having a legendary player like Jordan play the majority of his career with one team is likely over.  The passion for the fans is nothing like it used to be.  That's why college sports are still entertaining, players playing with passion and passionate fans.  But that is changing too. Our sports culture is changing. Just like how we watch, where we get our news and where we read about our favorite team, everything is changing.  Not saying it is right or wrong, it's just evolving.  The money being paid out by T.V contracts is unsustainable. With viewership going down, revenue can't keep increasing as ad revenue is based on viewership.