NBA Finals Game 5 Viewership Crashes Nearly 70% from 2019

LeBron James
Getty Images/Kevin C. Co

The NBA was hoping for a Finals to remember, as league executives foresaw a supposedly sports-starved population turning to the Association for desperately needed entertainment relief.

Instead, it has been a Finals the NBA would love to forget.

Friday night’s Game 5 drew 5.7 million viewers, according to TVLine. While that very low number is actually very good compared to the viewership numbers earned by the first three games in the series, it represent a nearly 70 percent decline from the 18.22 million viewers who tuned-in for Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals when the Golden State Warriors took on the Toronto Raptors.

That’s right, Game 5 of the 2020 Finals (which includes LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers) drew over 12.5 million fewer viewers than a game which included a team from Canada.

Game 1 of the Finals brought with it the lowest viewership since 1994, and Game 2 was the lowest ever on record. Though, that was before Game 3 beat out Game 2 by becoming the least watched Finals game in NBA history, by peaking with a paltry 4.395 million viewers.

As Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston reports:

This horrific collapse should not be surprising after polls have found that many fans now believe that basketball is far too political.

A Sept. 2 Harris poll found that 39 percent of respondent who identified as sports fans felt that the league was too political. And another 19 percent said that they had turned off pro basketball because of the NBA’s deep links to China.

The 2020 post-COVID season launched with the heavy-handed presence of the anti-American Black Lives Matter agenda.

Recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that next year the NBA will likely not feature the on-court social justice displays that have become commonplace this season. The commissioner also says he understands that fans just want to see a basketball game, and not by subjected to social justice messaging.

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