What the Huge Drop in NBA Viewers Tells Us

Bayfieldgopher

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More than 61% of NBA viewers have decided to tune out the NBA. IMO, this is a strong signal that the public is fed up with the heavy and biased barrage of social justice messaging from both players and announcers. People have had it with being told that they, as a group, are terrible people, full of racism and hate and need to change their ways. Most people get it that all lives do matter and are no longer being led to the water trough through radical socialistic actions. They are sick of it.

This is not a poll, which can be postured in any fashion to shape public opinion, but its an "action" statement. And the NBA has taken notice. But the damage has been done due to the NBA follow-the-sheep mentality and lack of foresight and concern as to how their actions affect certain people.

The NBA ratings crash is a signal that a substantial number of blacks are sick of this too, as 45% of the viewers are blacks. This is further evidence that an increasing number of American people, all who are potential voters, are not aligning with BLM and other Democratic socialistic groups and are shying away from a grievance-based culture.

IMO, this is another strong signal on what to expect on election day. NBA fans have made a clear statement that they disapprove of unpopular BLM type politics supported by Byeden and his socialist agenda. Along with Trumps 56% approval rating and the economy being the number one election issue, the twisted and biased polls will be wrong once again
 

Plausible Deniability

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More than 61% of NBA viewers have decided to tune out the NBA. IMO, this is a strong signal that the public is fed up with the heavy and biased barrage of social justice messaging from both players and announcers. People have had it with being told that they, as a group, are terrible people, full of racism and hate and need to change their ways. Most people get it that all lives do matter and are no longer being led to the water trough through radical socialistic actions. They are sick of it.

This is not a poll, which can be postured in any fashion to shape public opinion, but its an "action" statement. And the NBA has taken notice. But the damage has been done due to the NBA follow-the-sheep mentality and lack of foresight and concern as to how their actions affect certain people.

The NBA ratings crash is a signal that a substantial number of blacks are sick of this too, as 45% of the viewers are blacks. This is further evidence that an increasing number of American people, all who are potential voters, are not aligning with BLM and other Democratic socialistic groups and are shying away from a grievance-based culture.

IMO, this is another strong signal on what to expect on election day. NBA fans have made a clear statement that they disapprove of unpopular BLM type politics supported by Byeden and his socialist agenda. Along with Trumps 56% approval rating and the economy being the number one election issue, the twisted and biased polls will be wrong once again
Some of the spin will be competing with the NFL, etc but a lot of the games, including I think Game 4 last week (Tuesday?) were on nights with no NFL games

Jason Whitlock has discussed on many occasions how much of a negative detriment Lebron has had on the NBA, eroding it's stature and popularity in the marketplace. Spot on
 

justthefacts

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Some of the spin will be competing with the NFL, etc but a lot of the games, including I think Game 4 last week (Tuesday?) were on nights with no NFL games

Jason Whitlock has discussed on many occasions how much of a negative detriment Lebron has had on the NBA, eroding it's stature and popularity in the marketplace. Spot on
They're competing for attention.

Care to wager on whether there will be a huge jump in ratings for the NBA playoffs next year?

LeBron came into the league in 2003. The year before the Celtics (the team with the most titles ever) sold for $360M. In 2017 the Houston Rockets sold for $2.2B

Forbes estimates the Celtics are worth $3.1B.

I'd imagine that the owners of the Celtics are pretty pissed at LeBron for causing their investment to appreciate only 860% in 17 years.



Here is the awful TV deal that the NBA has to live with because LeBron caused no one to watch the NBA any more




Whitlock is an attention-seeking clown and the idea that LeBron has harmed the NBA is objectively idiotic. Just really, really dumb.
 
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GoodasGold

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More than 61% of NBA viewers have decided to tune out the NBA. IMO, this is a strong signal that the public is fed up with the heavy and biased barrage of social justice messaging from both players and announcers. People have had it with being told that they, as a group, are terrible people, full of racism and hate and need to change their ways. Most people get it that all lives do matter and are no longer being led to the water trough through radical socialistic actions. They are sick of it.

This is not a poll, which can be postured in any fashion to shape public opinion, but its an "action" statement. And the NBA has taken notice. But the damage has been done due to the NBA follow-the-sheep mentality and lack of foresight and concern as to how their actions affect certain people.

The NBA ratings crash is a signal that a substantial number of blacks are sick of this too, as 45% of the viewers are blacks. This is further evidence that an increasing number of American people, all who are potential voters, are not aligning with BLM and other Democratic socialistic groups and are shying away from a grievance-based culture.

IMO, this is another strong signal on what to expect on election day. NBA fans have made a clear statement that they disapprove of unpopular BLM type politics supported by Byeden and his socialist agenda. Along with Trumps 56% approval rating and the economy being the number one election issue, the twisted and biased polls will be wrong once again
I’m presuming all your suits are also tailored.
 

cjbfbp

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This is a really dumb talking point. Stanley Cup Final ratings are down 61 percent. MLB playoff ratings are down 39 percent. Even the NFL is down 14 percent.

The reality is that there is a pandemic and the 4 major sports were all playing at the same time.
Well said. Only obsessed people who politicize everything would stop watching a sport because of politics and, thankfully, those people represent a relatively low proportion of the population.

What you mentioned was a significant factor. Another contributing factor was just the long suspension of sports in general. The addiction for watching sports was broken to a degree during its absence and people acquired substitute activities, including watching other type of programing more often during that time. When sports resumed, people just didn't suddenly stop those alternative activities completely.
 

MennoSota

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Some of the spin will be competing with the NFL, etc but a lot of the games, including I think Game 4 last week (Tuesday?) were on nights with no NFL games

Jason Whitlock has discussed on many occasions how much of a negative detriment Lebron has had on the NBA, eroding it's stature and popularity in the marketplace. Spot on
This is a better take. People like fair play and they perceive that players, such as Lebron James, have colluded to stack teams and thus eliminate true and fair competition. The disgust for such collusion then becomes magnified when celebrities venture, ignorantly, into politics and social opinion in an effort to bully the American public into agreeing with them.
IMO, they should stick to marketing the NBA and earn their paycheck. Celebrity players, are hurting the NBA brand by promoting self-beliefs as though they are league beliefs. The commissioner of the NBA needs to step in and lay out the exact marketing strategy that all person's in the league will follow. Failure to comply with the company brand will result in heavy fines and possible dismissure from the league. This is the only way of keeping everyone on brand and fixing the marketing fiasco they now have.
 

justthefacts

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This is a better take. People like fair play and they perceive that players, such as Lebron James, have colluded to stack teams and thus eliminate true and fair competition. The disgust for such collusion then becomes magnified when celebrities venture, ignorantly, into politics and social opinion in an effort to bully the American public into agreeing with them.
IMO, they should stick to marketing the NBA and earn their paycheck. Celebrity players, are hurting the NBA brand by promoting self-beliefs as though they are league beliefs. The commissioner of the NBA needs to step in and lay out the exact marketing strategy that all person's in the league will follow. Failure to comply with the company brand will result in heavy fines and possible dismissure from the league. This is the only way of keeping everyone on brand and fixing the marketing fiasco they now have.
There is ZERO evidence that anyone in the NBA is hurting the NBA. None. The NBA has literally never been more popular.
 

MennoSota

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TV ratings have been downtrending for years. The TV ratings for the 2020 playoffs have been down from the start, and they’ve been worse since the players’ brief boycott. A new Harris poll reveals that 38% of sports fans are watching fewer NBA games.

Respondents were given 10 choices and allowed to select more than one of them. Some 38% of respondents said the league is too political. The cashier at the grocery store doesn’t offer you his/her strong political statements. Neither does the bank teller and the pharmacist and the vet. Apparently, a lot of fans feel that NBA players should do the same.

The second most popular answer — selected by 28% of respondents — was “too boring without fans.” Maybe you’re one of those who would qualify that and say it’s boring all the time, but some find it boring because fans aren’t in the arena, even if they are watching from home.


The NBA, as well as Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, have experimented with canned noise and virtual fans or cardboard cutouts of fans in the seats. The NBA selects 300 fans from the “home” team and their virtual images are broadcast onto the seats of the arena in real time. Apparently, this has not worked and, frankly, it’s a little weird, if not creepy.

The third most popular answer — coming in at 19% — is the NBA’s close business relationship with China, which struck a lot of Americans as blatant hypocrisy since the league postures for human rights at home but actively rejects criticism of China, its cash cow.

So NBA viewership has taken a hit this summer, but at least part of that could be blamed on extraordinary circumstances wrought by COVID-19 — the playoffs are being held much later than usual and many games during the first round were played during the day. They are also competing against an unbeatable foe: football. The NBA knows that’s not a battle it can win. The league had planned to push back the start of its next regular season to Dec. 1, but now says it is considering an even later start in an attempt to improve attendance.

 

Bad Gopher

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The key passage from the OP is "IMO." FYI and BTW, this doesn't have to be a matter of opinion. This is the kind of thing that can be determined from surveys. Has there been polling on this subject?
 

wiscsucks

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Alternatively, you could provide some evidence that NBA is losing viewers outside of a one-time, pandemic related scheduling change
Evidence? Just go talk to people. There are plenty who are not watching because of politics, and the NBA is the worst of it. There are plenty on the other side, who will always watch. Some people on here really need a hobby. Stop making your entire day about politics.
 

mnsportsgeek

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Ratings are down across the board. Doesn't point to any "political boycott" IMO. I didn't watch because it's really not any fun watching games in empty stadiums/arenas unless I have a rooting interest. I suspect that's a common opinion seeing as how every sport is seeing rating drops.
 

MennoSota

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Alternatively, you could provide some evidence that NBA is losing viewers outside of a one-time, pandemic related scheduling change
I provided it in the post just before you commented here.
 

cjbfbp

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Evidence? Just go talk to people.
That's called anecdotal evidence and normally isn't considered reliable. That type of evidence is also heavily influenced by the views of one's peer group. There was a famous joke (or maybe a real incident) of a Manhattan woman who said after the 1972 election: "How could Nixon have won? I don't know anyone who voted for him."
 

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I know all kinds of people who are totally okay with having million dollar athletes telling them relentlessly that they are terrible, racist, priveleged people. People love hearing that shit.
Grievance politics. You have an issue with black men excelling in a purely meritocratic field.
 

howeda7

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This is a really dumb talking point. Stanley Cup Final ratings are down 61 percent. MLB playoff ratings are down 39 percent. Even the NFL is down 14 percent.

The reality is that there is a pandemic and the 4 major sports were all playing at the same time.
Yep. While I admit I thought the ratings for all sports would be up because we were without them so long, they all ended up running together at a time when people could finally leave their house and they all tanked. We can't say the political stuff had zero to do with it, but it certainly wasn't the majority of the issue. Predicting the result of the election based on NBA TV ratings is beyond foolish.

Personally, I'm not much of an NBA fan, but would generally watch at least some of the Finals. I watched zero this year due to NFL/MLB being on at the same time and not much caring if LeBron got yet another title.
 

Bad Gopher

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I'll be the first to admit that it could be affecting ratings. But by how much? And are the leagues willing to live with that if it means having a clearer conscience on matters of justice and equity involving their talent?

I think that second question has been answered. Either the leagues are okay with that tradeoff or they've made the calculation (or have their own polling saying) that they're going to lose fewer fans than if they were insensitive.
 

Wally

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White people hate uppity Blacks, I have heard it from people at work and my own family. Of course they are careful to tread the line and not go full racist asshole.
 
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