NBA Ratings Soar While NFL Flounders
The NBA is off to its second-most-watched season ever.
While the NFL struggles to find viewers, the NBA is off to its second-most-watched season ever. ESPN said that the average viewership has soared 18 percent, to 1.8 million a game, from this point last year. The network has broadcast 30 games since the season’s opener on Oct. 17. TNT has telecast 16 NBA games so far and said its average is up 25 percent, to 2.1 million viewers. NBA TV has given 41 telecasts and its average is also up 25 percent, to 365,000. These are the highest viewership ratings since the 2010-11 season, which was the year LeBron James moved from Cleveland to Miami. The league’s success is due in part to focusing the league’s dramas on the game itself, unlike the NFL. Ben Sturner, president of sports-marketer Leverage Agency, told NY Post that since NBA players don’t wear helmets, fans think they know them better because they see facial expressions and gestures. Sturner says the NFL is getting punished for lack of focus as well as stories the brain injuries and player protests. The NBA also had a rousing final series last year — a five-game face-off between Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. That gave the NBA the highest ratings since Michael Jordan quit in 1998. Off-season trades also make this year one to watch. Nine-time All-Star Chris Paul was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets. LA got seven players in return. Point guard Kyle Irving moved from the Cavs to the Boston Celtics.
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