NBA ratings took a massive hit on Christmas Day after only 4 million people turned on the Lakers vs. Mavericks game.
“NBA Christmas Day ratings were off 21% from last year. NFL dunked on NBA head to head, nearly quadrupling the NBA audience,” OutKick’s Clay Travis tweeted about the ratings that day. “To be fair, the NBA had more viewers in communist China, however.”
The highly-anticipated game managed to get an average of 3.959 million viewers. Last year, the prime-time NBA game between the Lakers and Clippers averaged just under 7 million views.
From Washington Examiner:
The NBA has seen sinking ratings this year, and a piece on OutKick laid blame on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s business dealings with China, adding that the people of Hong Kong and former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey deserve an apology.
“When the NBA decided that appeasing Chinese leaders to protect TV deals and jersey sales was more important than standing up for human rights, they didn’t consider the long-term damage when they returned home. Now, Adam Silver is making adjustments, like moving the NBA’s launch to Christmas Day, which now we know didn’t help. Silver will play dumb or make excuses and say young people are ‘pulling the plug on cable,’ but reality is that the NBA showed they care more about money than human rights. A mistake that can’t be fixed without an apology,” Outkick wrote.
Morey stepped down from his position at the Houston Rockets back in October after tweeting out support for the protests in Hong Kong, which sparked outrage in China.
“Both LeBron James and Adam Silver sat on their hands after then Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey took a stand for humans over dollars. Morey knew, just like Silver and King James, that standing up for the people of Hong Kong would fray the league’s relationship and make it nearly impossible to become international business partners. He didn’t care, because that’s what real leaders do,” OutKick added.
President Trump and others have condemned the league’s relationship with China.
“My question is the NBA and the NFL are struggling with lower ratings as fans clearly do not want political messaging mixed with their sports. So, how should the leagues support and promote an anti-racism position without becoming political and alienating fans?” former Green Bay Packers star Brett Favre asked Trump during a town hall event in October.
“People don’t want to see all of the politics,” Trump said.
“They’ve got enough politics with me and with everybody else. And they don’t want to see it with football or sports on Sunday or whenever they happen to be watching. I think it’s had a huge impact on sports, a huge negative impact on sports. And I think that football ought to get back to football and basketball to basketball. And let politics remain separate,” the president added.