Report: Adam Silver ‘surprised’ by low NBA Finals TV ratings
The television ratings for the 2020 NBA Finals are at record lows in the history of the event, though NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is slightly puzzled as to why that is the case.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports Silver is slightly bewildered by the historically bad ratings, particularly considering LeBron James — a megastar of the highest order — is looking to enhance his individual legacy.
However, Silver is also hoping next year’s Finals will garner more attention, given the NBA will (ideally) not have to compete with other major sports:
According to sources, commissioner Adam Silver still is surprised at the low audience with LeBron James chasing his fourth title at age 35. Silver is aiming for next year’s NBA Finals to not compete in the crowded sports month of October.
Berman also says Silver is unsure as to whether the players will be permitted to wear social justice messages on their jerseys next year:
Silver said next season he doubts players will be permitted to wear social-justice messages on their jerseys and the BLM logo isn’t expected to be on the floors of home arenas. The commissioner is wary if these worthy gestures continue next season, “a certain amount of fatigue” would offset the messaging.
For what it’s worth, the NBA has not confirmed that Berman’s report is true.
The low ratings have even garnered the attention of politicians such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who engaged in a back-and-forth with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on Tuesday.
Perhaps some fans are growing “fatigued,” as Berman noted, with the league’s emphasis on the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
However, it is a fair qualification to point out some of the Finals games have coincided with the NFL — still king in American sports — as well as the MLB Playoffs. Furthermore, ratings for a number of other sports have also been down.
Regardless, Silver hopes the NBA will fare better with spectators and fans next season.