May 21, 2021 3 min read

NBA TV Reports 25% Audience Down for the Last 2 Season

Over the last two seasons, the NBA has lost 25% of its TV audience with just 1.32 million viewers compared to pre-pandemic times (2018-2019).

NBA with a 25% Fewer Viewers, Compared to Pre-pandemic Times

The NBA has lost 25% of its TV audience in the last two seasons, compared to its previous year-to-year reports. Its ratings have shrunk as the league prepares for the playoffs. According to Nielsen’s live-plus-same-day data, the league got an average of 1.32 million viewers, which is a 25% decline in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. The league held a 168-regular season of NBA games, broadcasted on ABC, TNT, and ESPN in 2020-2021. In 2018-2019, the average audience for all of the networks was 1.75 million viewers.

During the broadcast season of 35 weeks in 2020-2021, which ended on Wednesday, the overall TV usage dropped by 10%, compared to the same period a year ago and a net loss of 8.64 million viewers per night.

The drop was more apparent in the Big Four Networks, where the primetime deliveries dropped by 22% in one year. The ABC’s suite of NBA took the worst hit, with an average of 2.67 million viewers per game and a 10% decline, in comparison to last season with 2.96 million and down by 26% from 2018-2019 with 3.61 million viewers.

Today the NBA is launching a new sports gambling TV show, the NBABet TV, presented by BetMGM debuts just in time for the NBA Playoffs.

Viewership Could Have an Impact on NBA’s TV Contract

Now the NBA season has concluded, it is time for the playoffs. The New York Knicks will play postseason basketball for the first time since 2013. They join the all-time NBA favorites like the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, and the Lakers.

It will be interesting to see how LeBron James’ game-winning 3-pointer, beating Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, would continue to play out. If people forget it or if it will stay as one of his most legendary shots. The Lakers this season were the most pervasive team, with 33 national windows and the highest-rated franchise.

Viewership could impact NBA’s TV contract. Currently, the association earns $24 billion over its 9-year contract and seeks $75 billion in its next deals. After TV ratings dropped significantly over the last two seasons, the association hopes for more viewers during the playoffs.

Today, younger viewers stream the games for a few minutes, and more of them are following the action on the internet. They also don’t stream for a long time, enough to leave behind a trace. The currency streaming space correlation might have to adjust and go beyond the TV marketplace.


Eva is a PR specialist and communications expert with ten years of experience in campaign organizing and creative writing. She is also a published author of fictional stories. Eva recently developed an interest in economics and the gaming industry after discovering the inspirational story of Molly Bloom.

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