News NBA Playoff Ratings Crash by 23%, Lowest Watched in 5 Years By - September 1, 2020 0 22 Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp “Weekday afternoon games have certainly hurt, but the first weekend of the NBA Playoffs was no ratings bonanza either,” Sports Media Watch reported. Viewership on ABC is down 23 percent and the numbers are down 20 percent overall compared to last year’s playoffs “The Lakers’ win ranks as ABC’s least-watched playoff opener in five years (2015 Pelicans-Warriors: 3.49M), with the caveat that this year marked the first time since 2004 that it did not air a game on the opening day of the postseason,” Sports Media Watch added. The league has tried to blame the coronavirus and its effects; however, SportsBusiness Daily recently noted that ratings for last season were also bad, as the 2018-2019 season lost 12 percent in viewership. That, of course, was pre-pandemic. Other ratings reckoning also finds the NBA has lost viewers. ShowBuzz, for instance, noted that the league lost 28 percent in the important 18-49 age bracket. Ratings for the NBA has been bad since its initial debut. The numbers were similar early in August. The ratings for the NBA were so poor in the first week of August that Fox News programming — and even Rachel Maddow on MSNBC — beat opening night NBA ratings. As Sports Illustrated noted, the NBA’s TV contracts expire in 2025, so it won’t be long before the networks begin looking to renegotiate their $24 billion deal. If these basement-dwelling ratings continue, it could have a major impact on the league’s ability to command top dollar in the future. Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.