We have been documenting the recent ratings collapse that the NFL has suffered in the midst of turning its league into a political movement over the last few months. Now, it looks like the NBA could be suffering a similar fate.
It appears that viewers are no longer interested in the political and social justice messages of the NBA but rather were tuning in for (believe it or not) actual basketball. As the balance of the league has tipped from less sport to more activism, viewers are tuning out.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals saw a major collapse in viewers, with just 4.5 million people tuning in. This is down 68% from last year’s game two, which Outkick notes, “featured a team in Canada”.
In fact, the ratings made Game 2 the least watched NBA Finals game on record, dropping below the 7.41 Game 1, which was the lowest viewed finals opener in history.
There really doesn’t seem to be much of a spin that the NBA can put on the terrible ratings, other than the league has simply lost the interest of many who would have once tuned in. In fact, one of the league’s most “outspoken” voices on oppression and racism, LeBron James, should have been the feature draw for this year’s finals.
Instead, it appears he could be exactly what is turning viewers away.
Recall, we had already documented that Week 1 NFL ratings saw a “steep decline” from last year’s comparable ratings. In an article we published in mid September, we questioned whether or not that could have something to do with the NFL focusing more on politics than – well, actually playing football.
Week 2 saw no respite for the NFL. Week 2’s Seahawks versus New England Patriots game – one of the premier matchups in all of the NFL – saw only 12.22 million viewers on NBC, according to the Daily Caller.
The numbers marked a 17% decline from Week 1, which saw roughly 7 million viewer plunge from Week 1 of the 2019 season.
Peter Schiff said it best in his most recent podcast out late last week, while talking about Coinbase’s decision to ban employees talking about politics. Schiff commented:
“If you work at Coinbase, you need to check your political preferences at the door. I wish the NFL would do the same thing and say ‘there’s no politics at the NFL’.”
“You want to do that stuff? Do it on your own time. Do it on your free time. Don’t do it on the job. People make a big deal, they think NFL players have a right to do that. No they don’t. You think people that work at a grocery store, at a restaurant have a right to stand there and protest?”