Mark Cuban rips NBA for low Lakers-Heat Finals ratings
Outspoken Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban recently sounded off on the low ratings of the 2020 NBA Finals in a podcast interview with Megyn Kelly. LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers battled and eventually defeated an unexpected opponent in the Miami Heat for the 2020 NBA title. In turn, the Mavs owner has thoughts.
Television ratings have hit all-time lows with just 5.7 million viewers tuning into Game 5, according to Nielsen Media Research. It was a meager tally compared to previous Finals series most especially back in the 1998 NBA Finals that featured Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls which garnered a total of 30.6 million viewers.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with politics. I just think we don’t have the match-up and the storylines, and we didn’t do a good job promoting it,” the Mavs owner said.
Some critics have also argued that the league’s public support of Black Lives Matter hurt the NBA with some fans. Recently, Cuban also had a heated exchange on Twitter with Senator Ted Cruz who also hails from the state of Texas.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 6, 2020
Ironically, Cuban also shared an article on Twitter which mentioned a part where The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss wrote about how fans had turned against the league. While he takes care to not come out and say it directly, the reason in his eyes is that the predominantly black league has different politics than its white fans, and it’s driving them away.
“The league’s players calling out police brutality in America while staying silent on human rights abuses in China, a partner of the NBA, turns fans off, supposedly. In Strauss’s view, it shows that just like Paxson said 20 years ago, the players only care about money,” author Dan McQuade said.
It seems as if not only the players are setting their sights on money but also the team owners are willing to turn a blind eye and ‘pick their battles’ accordingly by choosing to side with a huge market like China amidst the human rights issues that the country is currently facing while also advocating for America’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
Perhaps not only is the NBA Finals not heavily-promoted similar to what Cuban mentioned, but maybe because the league has different priorities on advocating for varying social issues could have played a pivotal part in the low ratings too.