Go woke, go broke has become a familiar saying, as caving to pressure from the far left tends to lead to a drop in ratings and revenue. Once again, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has had a massive ratings falloff.
ShowBuzz Daily reports that viewers of the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Dallas Mavericks Christmas night, peaked at 3.959 million viewers. Last year’s Christmas Day marquee matchup between the Clippers and Lakers averaged just under seven million viewers.
Even in a prime slot, Lebron James and the returning champion Lakers' battle against the Mavericks, who had the best offense in the league last season, could not stop the ratings freefall.
According to Deadline: "The National Basketball Association’s day-long celebration of sports led the demos, scoring a 1.1 and 3.74 million total audience for its hours-long programming for ABC and ESPN. That’s the good news – the bad news is that’s down massively from past performances. In a season where the NBA is trying to lure back fans who were turned off by last season’s overt politics and the less-stimulating bubble version of the sport, it shows there’s a lot of ground to make up."
Since you probably weren’t watching, the Lakers may have beaten the Mavericks 138-115 Friday night, but both teams and the NBA continued to take a beating in the ratings.
Last season, the NBA finals ratings were disastrous during the championship games between the Heat and the Lakers. Fans continued to show their resentment towards the league’s players ongoing social justice demonstrations and the NBA’s business relationship with China, even in the face of their continuing human rights violations. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver even admitted that the social justice virtue signaling might be the reason the fans are not tuning in.
Sports Media Watch reported earlier in the season that "The NBA’s Opening Night doubleheader averaged a Nielsen-estimated 2.87 million viewers on TNT Tuesday night, up 1% from last year (2.85M), up 2% from 2018 (2.82M), and the most-watched Opening Night since 2017 (4.88M)."
Viewers may have noticed the absence of social justice messages on the court and uniforms in the NBA’s Opening Night games which were a prominent focus last season following the death of George Floyd. Most players also stood for the national anthem opening night.