ESPN Takes Massive Ratings Hit as NBA Finals Crumble

LeBron James
Getty Images/Ezra Shaw

The 2018 NBA Finals fell flat with a four-year low in TV ratings, as the fourth consecutive match-up between the Cavs and the Warriors resulted in an anti-climactic four-game sweep for Golden State.

The Warriors became the first team to sweep the series in four straight games since 2007 when the San Antonio Spurs downed the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Deadline Hollywood.

But, the shortened series certainly did nothing to help Disney-owned ESPN in the ratings. While Game Four earned an 11.2 in metered markets and saw 19 million viewers, that was an eleven percent decline from last season’s Game Four.

Worse, compared with the final game last year, the 2018 final game was down a whopping 30 percent over Game Five from 2017 (which itself brought 24.5 million pairs of eyes to their TV sets).

Indeed, as Richard Deitsch noted, this year’s 17.65 million viewers for four games is down 2 million even from the last lowest rated broadcast back in 2015 when the finals averaged 19.9 million viewers.

Still, the numbers are reflective of a general decline in TV ratings across the board.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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