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Sport The NBA’s first-ever October Finals saw a new low Game 1 rating, down 45 percent from last year’s Warriors-Raptors Game 1

05:05  02 october  2020
05:05  02 october  2020 Source:   awfulannouncing.com

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The game , which took place about four months later than the usual start date for the NBA Finals , was down by about 45 percent in total viewers vs. the U. S . audience for last year ’ s finals opener between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors . The two conference finals series that wrapped up

The Raptors held on on Game 6 to top the Warriors and win the NBA Finals .

This year’s COVID-19 shifted sports timetables have led to even more than usual going on in September and October, and many of those relocated events haven’t done too well in the ratings. The 2020 Stanley Cup Final (Tampa Bay over Dallas in six games) drew the lowest ratings for that series since 2007, many of the ratings for the MLB playoffs so far haven’t been great, and there were further ratings hits at the Kentucky Derby, the Indy 500, and the U.S. Open (in both golf, which was rescheduled, and tennis, which was not).  The NBA playoffs so far have seen year-over-year declines as well, and that trend continued into Wednesday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers (a 116-98 victory for the Lakers), which averaged 7.4 million viewers (as per Showbuzz Daily). Here’s more on that from Paulsen at Sports Media Watch:

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Game 6 of the NBA Finals was tight, going back and forth between the Raptors and the Golden State Warriors . But the Raptors took the game in the end with a 114-110 for a 4-2 series victory. The match ended the 2019 championship series and was a first -time win for the Raptors , who made their NBA

NBA finals : Pascal Siakam soars as Raptors beat Warriors in Game 1 . Warriors 109-118 Raptors , FINAL . And this will do it. Siakam tips in his own miss, Draymond The Raptors want to slow this down , but they’ll also take free throws. Looney puts Leonard on the line where he makes one of two.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals drew a record-low rating despite LeBron's performance. © Provided by Awful Announcing Game 1 of the NBA Finals drew a record-low rating despite LeBron's performance.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals (Heat-Lakers) averaged 7.41 million viewers on ABC Wednesday night, comfortably the least-watched NBA Finals game on record (dates back to 1988). The previous low was 8.06 million for Nets-Spurs Game 2 in 2003. Ratings were not immediately available; the current record-low is a 5.2 for that same Nets-Spurs game. [Related: NBA Finals ratings history.]

As goes without saying, it was also the least-watched Finals opener on record. The previous low was 9.21 million for Cavaliers-Spurs in 2007.

The Lakers’ easy win, in which they led by as many as 32, sank 45% from Warriors-Raptors last year (13.38M) and 58% from Cavaliers-Warriors in 2018 (17.67M), which aired as scheduled in late May.

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The Toronto Raptors used one of the oldest plays in the book to continually generate easy shots all game , and the Golden State Warriors could not get a stop in crucial moments of Game 4. The In addition, see exclusive interviews with NBA players and coaches, from active super stars to retired

2019 NBA Finals matchups: Breaking down Raptors , Warriors battle. Curry’ s usage rate has shot up every round, peaking at 32. 1 % in a conference finals without Durant. After watching Andre Iguodala win Finals MVP during the Warriors ’ first title run and Durant the next two, this could be his year .

There are a few things to keep in mind here. Yes, this fits into the year-over-year declines for sports events we’re seeing at the moment, and that’s been true for even sports that haven’t seen their calendar shifted; the NFL has also seen some yearoveryear struggles despite playing at their regular time of year. And yes, there’s a lot going on in the world, including the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the run-up to the U.S. presidential election (although the first debate was Tuesday rather than Wednesday, there’s still a large interest in news and political shows), and Wednesday’s game did see head-to-head competition from the New York Yankees-Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers-Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Wild Card games on ESPN. And yes, the NBA still won the night (the second-best number was 6.932 million for Fox’s The Masked Singer), and yes, this was the best non-NFL viewership on TV since February’s Academy Awards. And this was in a tremendous blowout, so a lot of people likely tuned out partway through, which damages the average viewership;

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The Raptors called for a box-and- one defense to stop Steph Curry in the waning moments of Game There are some sports strategies that you simply never expect to see beyond the middle school level But the Toronto Raptors basically used a middle school tactic in Game 2 of this year ’ s NBA Finals

NBA Finals Game 2 Viewership Down Hard From 2018; Warriors Top Raptors With Obama In The House – Update. While a rise, that’ s a far tighter uptick than in past years for the NBA Finals . Matching the Game 1 18-49 demographic result, the 8 – 10:53 PM ET Game 2 snagged a rating of

But with all that said, this still has to be somewhat disappointing for the NBA and ABC/ESPN. And that’s especially true  with a Los Angeles-Miami (#2 and #16 in Nielsen’s 2020 U.S. media market rankings) matchup. A 45 percent dropoff from Warriors-Raptors Game 1 in 2019 is particularly stark, as that series featured the #6 media market against a non-U.S. market where the local ratings didn’t help the U.S. ratings at all. (The local and national ratings in Canada were very, very good for the networks there, but that’s another story.)

And that historically-low Warriors-Raptors Game 1 drew 13.38 million viewers; even if you treated the baseball average audiences (2.45 million for Yankees-Indians, 1.09 million for Brewers-Dodgers) as separate (and they weren’t, as those games ran back-to-back, so there’s clearly some crossover there), adding them into the Heat-Lakers game still wouldn’t get it close to last year’s already-down Game 1 numbers. And this wasn’t even the most-watched game of the 2019-20 NBA season (the regular-season Clippers-Lakers game last Christmas on ABC averaged 8.76 million viewers). Oh, and considering that this game featured LeBron James (seen at top battling Jae Crowder) posting 25 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists, the “There’s no LeBron, and people want to watch LeBron!” argument used last year doesn’t work either.

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The Raptors did what so many teams have struggled to do before them: beat the Warriors in their own Toronto’ s Kawhi Leonard scored a team-high 30 points as the Raptors knocked off the Warriors in Game The Raptors knocked down 17 three-pointers to overcome Stephen Curry’ s extraordinary

Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference finals was startling; the Spurs were in complete control of a Warriors team that could very well be considered the As Curry and Leonard go, so go the Warriors and Raptors … until Durant comes back, at which time the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP could

Is this a predictor of anything going forward? Not necessarily. As mentioned, it’s a weird time, and a ton of sports are down. And maybe this was just a super-low Game 1 and the rest of the series will be more normal, perhaps especially if the Heat can make it more of a contest. Or maybe the whole series will be down, but things will get back to a more normal level of ratings next year.

Even if the ratings stay down for a year or two, that’s not necessarily dismal for the NBA itself; given that its national TV deals with Turner and ESPN run through 2024-25. Down ratings for a year or two would be more immediately concerning for those broadcasters. And even there, there is some value in having the top event on TV, even if it’s down quite a bit. But even with all the caveats and minimizing factors considered, this is still quite a low number for the NBA. And it will be interesting to see how the ratings progress as this series goes on.

[Sports Media Watch]

The post The NBA’s first-ever October Finals saw a new low Game 1 rating, down 45 percent from last year’s Warriors-Raptors Game 1 appeared first on Awful Announcing.

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Shumpert was part of the 2016 Cavs, so there is, of course, some inherent bias. But this year’s Lakers recently broke one record set by that Cavs team. As a result, Shumpert might feel a need to command respect for his 2016 squad.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.

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