On a night when the NBA broadcast its most important game, you would think that the league would own the night. That, once again, turned out to not be the case.
The viewership numbers for the sixth and final game of the NBA Finals are in, and they are atrocious. Game 6 drew, at its peak, 6.028 million viewers. To put that in perspective, Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, which included a team from Canada and did not include LeBron James, drew 18.34 million viewers.
Those figures represent a 66 percent drop.
To put it in further perspective, last night’s edition of Sunday Night Football, a game which featured a losing Vikings team against the Seahawks, a non-major market team, beat out the NBA’s ultimate game by earning nearly twice as many viewers with 12.008 million.
The heavy viewership losses are consistent with disastrous viewership numbers from the first half of the series when games one through three drew consecutive, historically low numbers. Indeed, the low numbers are consistent with an entire season of bad television viewership performances.
The NBA restarted its season, after a five-month hiatus due to the coronavirus, by making social justice messaging and imagery a centerpiece of their television broadcasts. That messaging was greeted with historic drops in ratings, drops largely due to fan dissatisfaction with the overtly political nature of the games.
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 September 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,” Breitbart Sports reported. “The commissioner also says he understands that fans just want to see a basketball game, and not by subjected to social justice messaging.”