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View Full Version : NBA Viewership up 8% this year



Scoots
05-12-2018, 10:04 PM
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2018/05/07/nba-television-ratings-are-huge-upswing-this-season/sjnRFAvqLJDCa6njxrn5fI/story.html

I guess the NBA hasn't been ruined after all.

mngopher35
05-12-2018, 10:15 PM
I don't think super teams will ever have too much trouble getting fans to watch, that's not what people usually mean when talking about the league being broken right now etc.

On the upside though this is good news and I think Basketball/NBA is in a great spot to keep growing worldwide attracting fans/players. The style of ball we see from some of these teams (Spurs, Warriors, Boston for example) and opening of the floor has been great and exciting. Some teams still have that ISO feel a little to them as well to make interesting matchups with ball movement or more team oriented offenses. All in all I think ratings should be solid for the NBA in years to come

Scoots
05-12-2018, 11:51 PM
I don't think super teams will ever have too much trouble getting fans to watch, that's not what people usually mean when talking about the league being broken right now etc.

On the upside though this is good news and I think Basketball/NBA is in a great spot to keep growing worldwide attracting fans/players. The style of ball we see from some of these teams (Spurs, Warriors, Boston for example) and opening of the floor has been great and exciting. Some teams still have that ISO feel a little to them as well to make interesting matchups with ball movement or more team oriented offenses. All in all I think ratings should be solid for the NBA in years to come

The fanatics though have been talking about how people were going to stop watching because the outcome was a foregone conclusion. The reality is that the majority of people watching just want a show for the game they are watching, and the casual fans like the newer style of play that is spreading around the league.

CityofTreez
05-13-2018, 12:05 AM
Sports, in general, are only going to become more popular.
The whole ‘super teams ruin the NBA’ is a dumb punchline that falls on deaf ears because this WCF series is what we knew/wanted/and will get. Blame juggernauts all you want, but the Warriors/Rockets/Cavs/other dreadnoughts increase viewership because all those ‘haters’ root against them and thus viewership argument goes nowhere.

mngopher35
05-13-2018, 12:25 AM
I don't think super teams will ever have too much trouble getting fans to watch, that's not what people usually mean when talking about the league being broken right now etc.

On the upside though this is good news and I think Basketball/NBA is in a great spot to keep growing worldwide attracting fans/players. The style of ball we see from some of these teams (Spurs, Warriors, Boston for example) and opening of the floor has been great and exciting. Some teams still have that ISO feel a little to them as well to make interesting matchups with ball movement or more team oriented offenses. All in all I think ratings should be solid for the NBA in years to come

The fanatics though have been talking about how people were going to stop watching because the outcome was a foregone conclusion. The reality is that the majority of people watching just want a show for the game they are watching, and the casual fans like the newer style of play that is spreading around the league.

I guess I haven't heard much about people not watching in an overall sense (although for sure have forgone conclusion/gap in league and personally just tuning out more often). The casual fans tend to tune in more for talent/superstars so an insane team like this can be good for ratings and lame for people who usually watch the game either way type of thing (Twolves recently had this happen on a local level, see our forum for tons of complaints from long time followers despite seeing much hype from newer fans).

In a general sense though like I said in that initial post I agree the game is going to be/stay popular. People like todays open game and it doesn't have quite the same concerns as nfl etc

Scoots
05-13-2018, 01:18 AM
Sports, in general, are only going to become more popular.
The whole ‘super teams ruin the NBA’ is a dumb punchline that falls on deaf ears because this WCF series is what we knew/wanted/and will get. Blame juggernauts all you want, but the Warriors/Rockets/Cavs/other dreadnoughts increase viewership because all those ‘haters’ root against them and thus viewership argument goes nowhere.

I don't know that sports are going to become more popular with cable subscription rates dropping year after year.

HandsOnTheWheel
05-13-2018, 01:27 AM
I don't think super teams will ever have too much trouble getting fans to watch, that's not what people usually mean when talking about the league being broken right now etc.

On the upside though this is good news and I think Basketball/NBA is in a great spot to keep growing worldwide attracting fans/players. The style of ball we see from some of these teams (Spurs, Warriors, Boston for example) and opening of the floor has been great and exciting. Some teams still have that ISO feel a little to them as well to make interesting matchups with ball movement or more team oriented offenses. All in all I think ratings should be solid for the NBA in years to come

Agree with this.

Assuming this stat in the OP is relating to regular season games, new era style basketball brings viewership because of the excitement it brings so not too surprising. I couldn't watch regular season Heat games like 5-6 years ago because of how boring and uninteresting they were and that was during the big 3 era.

FWIW It's a league that lacks in parity and even integrity to an extent. Could use a lot of cap tightening and perhaps a hard cap to really put a clamp on superteams and increase the spread of parity to franchises that have long suffered.

FlashBolt
05-13-2018, 01:51 AM
Casual fans don't know any better. It's us more serious fans who have been watching for years and decades that might not like it. NBA's done a great job marketing via social media and their superstar players gain more traction than any other sport outside soccer. Silver's been an amazing commissioner, honestly. Props to that guy.

Jeffy25
05-13-2018, 03:03 AM
The fanatics though have been talking about how people were going to stop watching because the outcome was a foregone conclusion. The reality is that the majority of people watching just want a show for the game they are watching, and the casual fans like the newer style of play that is spreading around the league.

I don't have a favorite team, but there are a lot of players that I like to watch. So I usually tune in for games of those players.

I've been watching more than I used to.

Jeffy25
05-13-2018, 03:08 AM
Agree with this.

Assuming this stat in the OP is relating to regular season games, new era style basketball brings viewership because of the excitement it brings so not too surprising. I couldn't watch regular season Heat games like 5-6 years ago because of how boring and uninteresting they were and that was during the big 3 era.

FWIW It's a league that lacks in parity and even integrity to an extent. Could use a lot of cap tightening and perhaps a hard cap to really put a clamp on superteams and increase the spread of parity to franchises that have long suffered.

Actually, I think getting rid of the cap is what would balance out the leagues talent.

If LeBron was making $80 million a year, that team isn't going to also be able to sign top tiered talent around him.

Even if some guys are willing to take a discount, it won't be much, and the union would fight against players taking discounts.

Baseball is capless, and that's why the talent is so spread out in the league. Every players chases top dollars, and it spreads the talent out.

The Warriors would be running a $300ish million dollar payroll to keep those four key players together, who would be each making 40-60M a year. And they can't afford a $300M payroll, so the team wouldn't be like they are.


The Knicks and Lakers have the most revenue (estimated at around $350M, with Warriors just behind them at $300M - according to Forbes).

Teams could support about 50% of their revenue into payroll.

Sure, LeBron would probably be on the Lakers, and they'd likely have a few other good players there. But stars wouldn't be taking discounts to play in one town any longer, and the union wouldn't let it happen just like they didn't let A-Rod renegotiate his contract to go to the Red Sox or let players take discounts to go to different places. They always expect players to get their max money available.

Get rid of the complicated cap, increase the parity across the league.

rhino17
05-13-2018, 03:19 AM
This is where lack of parity in the NBA is a huge advantage. In the NBA (unlike the NFL), you have storylines that last over multiple seasons. Becoming a dynasty like Golden State creates a villian, and a rooting interest for everyone. The NBA plays out like one continuous story. In the NFL, its one season fought til the end, and then basically a restart button is hit and things are typically entirely different the following season - generally no repeats, no recent dynasties (other than NE). It plays out more like a limited series. I have always preferred the NBA style

Heediot
05-13-2018, 04:11 AM
even internationally, there are domestic leagues popping up almost everywhere. i think the league is probably growing bigger worldwide as well.

More-Than-Most
05-13-2018, 04:46 AM
Sixers being must watch : )

ewing
05-13-2018, 05:52 AM
They've done good job making the league womanly or marketing to different demographics depending on your take

burtgummer
05-13-2018, 08:32 AM
As PT Barnum said,there's one born every minute

D-Leethal
05-13-2018, 09:26 AM
I had less than zero interest in the national landscape this year. Don't think I watched a TNT or ESPN game after the first couple weeks. Watched a couple Sunday ABC games but even those were crap this year.

Houston vs GS was the only primetime game I remember I felt I had to tune in for.

I did enjoy the **** out of the first round of the playoffs tho. Second round was trash.

tredigs
05-13-2018, 09:31 AM
They've done good job making the league womanly or marketing to different demographics depending on your take

:laugh: never change

Chronz
05-13-2018, 02:38 PM
It is ruined, just not for the laymen. Sheeple abound.

AllBall
05-13-2018, 02:57 PM
It doesn't hurt that there are some major cities who's teams became relevant again.


I don't know that sports are going to become more popular with cable subscription rates dropping year after year.

They're moving more and more to streaming platforms. Once they're fully there without stupid restrictions, RIP cable.

Vinylman
05-13-2018, 03:06 PM
They've done good job making the league womanly or marketing to different demographics depending on your take

yep... they have learned well from the NFL ... and taken viewers from the NFL...

Anyway, the first finals without LBJ will be the litmus test although even if that happens this year it will be somewhat offset by Boston (storied franchise) being in.

CityofTreez
05-13-2018, 05:26 PM
It doesn't hurt that there are some major cities who's teams became relevant again.



They're moving more and more to streaming platforms. Once they're fully there without stupid restrictions, RIP cable.

Without streaming restrictions, viewership could increase even more with access/knowledge.

Scoots
05-13-2018, 07:17 PM
It doesn't hurt that there are some major cities who's teams became relevant again.



They're moving more and more to streaming platforms. Once they're fully there without stupid restrictions, RIP cable.

Yes, but that will significantly reduce casual viewers.

Allphakenny1
05-13-2018, 08:30 PM
Actually, I think getting rid of the cap is what would balance out the leagues talent.

If LeBron was making $80 million a year, that team isn't going to also be able to sign top tiered talent around him.

Even if some guys are willing to take a discount, it won't be much, and the union would fight against players taking discounts.

Baseball is capless, and that's why the talent is so spread out in the league. Every players chases top dollars, and it spreads the talent out.

The Warriors would be running a $300ish million dollar payroll to keep those four key players together, who would be each making 40-60M a year. And they can't afford a $300M payroll, so the team wouldn't be like they are.


The Knicks and Lakers have the most revenue (estimated at around $350M, with Warriors just behind them at $300M - according to Forbes).

Teams could support about 50% of their revenue into payroll.

Sure, LeBron would probably be on the Lakers, and they'd likely have a few other good players there. But stars wouldn't be taking discounts to play in one town any longer, and the union wouldn't let it happen just like they didn't let A-Rod renegotiate his contract to go to the Red Sox or let players take discounts to go to different places. They always expect players to get their max money available.

Get rid of the complicated cap, increase the parity across the league.

I have to disagree with this not only on the basketball front, but also on the baseball front.

You cannot compare basketball to baseball because if you have the best player in basketball and just an average team around them, that team has a chance to compete for a championship. In baseball, the best player does not have anywhere near the effect the best player in basketball can have. That is just the nature of the game where one player in five starters can impact the game more than one player in nine + five pitchers + relief pitchers + maybe a DH.

Basketball has come a long way in terms of parity since free agency started because before, top players tended to go to the big cities for more exposure. Now with the internet and social media, a player can be a star anywhere. I feel no cap at all would allow the top financial teams to stay on top for much longer. Most feel that the #1 factor to stopping this Warriors team is the repeater luxury tax to make penalties so expensive they cannot afford to pay them and break the team up.

I hate to argue against you in baseball because you are the man on this site in that sport, but I think your take on the cap is off in that sport as well. A cap would improve parity in baseball. The same teams always seem to be at the top and can stay there when they have more money to spend. It is no mystery why a team like the Yankees is always competing for World Series when they consistently outspend their competitors. When they make a massive signing that turns out to be a mistake, they can overcome it.

If a small market/budget team makes a big signing that does not turn out, it is catastrophic. Even when they are capable of winning the World Series like the Marlins, they cannot afford to keep those teams together and they sell off their top players and must rebuild. Basically what I am saying is, if a small market team is to win they have to make much much smarter moves than a large market team, and they will not stay on top for long. Large market teams can afford mistakes and still compete/win and do not regularly stay down for long.

A cap in baseball would add to more parity IMO, and a hard cap is basketball would do the same.

Jeffy25
05-13-2018, 10:51 PM
I have to disagree with this not only on the basketball front, but also on the baseball front.

You cannot compare basketball to baseball because if you have the best player in basketball and just an average team around them, that team has a chance to compete for a championship. In baseball, the best player does not have anywhere near the effect the best player in basketball can have. That is just the nature of the game where one player in five starters can impact the game more than one player in nine + five pitchers + relief pitchers + maybe a DH.

Basketball has come a long way in terms of parity since free agency started because before, top players tended to go to the big cities for more exposure. Now with the internet and social media, a player can be a star anywhere. I feel no cap at all would allow the top financial teams to stay on top for much longer. Most feel that the #1 factor to stopping this Warriors team is the repeater luxury tax to make penalties so expensive they cannot afford to pay them and break the team up.

I hate to argue against you in baseball because you are the man on this site in that sport, but I think your take on the cap is off in that sport as well. A cap would improve parity in baseball. The same teams always seem to be at the top and can stay there when they have more money to spend. It is no mystery why a team like the Yankees is always competing for World Series when they consistently outspend their competitors. When they make a massive signing that turns out to be a mistake, they can overcome it.

If a small market/budget team makes a big signing that does not turn out, it is catastrophic. Even when they are capable of winning the World Series like the Marlins, they cannot afford to keep those teams together and they sell off their top players and must rebuild. Basically what I am saying is, if a small market team is to win they have to make much much smarter moves than a large market team, and they will not stay on top for long. Large market teams can afford mistakes and still compete/win and do not regularly stay down for long.

A cap in baseball would add to more parity IMO, and a hard cap is basketball would do the same.

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

I argue long and hard against caps because of the current economic state of baseball. You get players at their most productive before they are free agents. And signing big named free agents usually hurts you. Teams have wisen up and stopped wasting so much, so often.

I agree. A team like the Knicks could give LeBron a 7 year, $420M contract, backload it, and put a bunch of average players around him and KP and suddenly, they rebuilt. So there is an affect there. Of course, they would have to rebuild with his bloated salary in a few years.

It would only work if the union was adamant about top players getting the biggest buck they can. Otherwise, it's pointless.

AllBall
05-13-2018, 10:52 PM
Yes, but that will significantly reduce casual viewers.

You sure about that? Viewership (including casual sports fans) don't watch in the same manner. Habits have changed. It went from TV -> DVR -> Cord cutting streamers.

Vinylman
05-14-2018, 07:23 AM
Yes, but that will significantly reduce casual viewers.

people don't understand the idea of event broadcastings power

Scoots
05-14-2018, 09:19 AM
You sure about that? Viewership (including casual sports fans) don't watch in the same manner. Habits have changed. It went from TV -> DVR -> Cord cutting streamers.

Yes I'm sure. If media is purchased as watched casual viewers will not go out of their way to buy access to the games. I'm a cord cutter with a media server and streaming boxes in every room. I've got Netflix, Amazon, and have had 5 other monthly streaming subscriptions. To watch NBA games without cable it's $7 a game or $200 a season ... I think it's changing next year, but that is far more of an investment than a casual viewer is likely to make. The TV contracts are HUGE money, and right now they have no idea how to get anything close to that money in streaming ... their best bet is a Netflix or Amazon offer them big money to stream the games.

warfelg
05-14-2018, 09:48 AM
It’s the same for everything. Scripted TV is down, live TV is up. Not shocking at all.

AllBall
05-14-2018, 11:06 AM
Yes I'm sure. If media is purchased as watched casual viewers will not go out of their way to buy access to the games. I'm a cord cutter with a media server and streaming boxes in every room. I've got Netflix, Amazon, and have had 5 other monthly streaming subscriptions. To watch NBA games without cable it's $7 a game or $200 a season ... I think it's changing next year, but that is far more of an investment than a casual viewer is likely to make. The TV contracts are HUGE money, and right now they have no idea how to get anything close to that money in streaming ... their best bet is a Netflix or Amazon offer them big money to stream the games.

Yeah, so? That's already being done on streaming. If you're interested in sports add a sports channel like ESPN, NBCSN, FoxSports, etc and watch whatever sports they have.

Scoots
05-14-2018, 11:27 AM
Yeah, so? That's already being done on streaming. If you're interested in sports add a sports channel like ESPN, NBCSN, FoxSports, etc and watch whatever sports they have.

The point is that the cord cutters will reduce NBA viewership by casual viewers because it is no longer casual to watch.

Lakers + Giants
05-14-2018, 01:39 PM
It's that Ball boy! :laugh2:

Had to do it.

AllBall
05-14-2018, 01:41 PM
The point is that the cord cutters will reduce NBA viewership by casual viewers because it is no longer casual to watch.

How do you define casual viewer? :confused:

MILLERHIGHLIFE
05-14-2018, 04:55 PM
I think a lot of people now days watch NBA for free with streaming. Not sure if they keep track of that at all.

Scoots
05-14-2018, 08:25 PM
I think a lot of people now days watch NBA for free with streaming. Not sure if they keep track of that at all.

Legally?

HandsOnTheWheel
05-15-2018, 01:18 AM
Actually, I think getting rid of the cap is what would balance out the leagues talent.

If LeBron was making $80 million a year, that team isn't going to also be able to sign top tiered talent around him.

Even if some guys are willing to take a discount, it won't be much, and the union would fight against players taking discounts.

Baseball is capless, and that's why the talent is so spread out in the league. Every players chases top dollars, and it spreads the talent out.

The Warriors would be running a $300ish million dollar payroll to keep those four key players together, who would be each making 40-60M a year. And they can't afford a $300M payroll, so the team wouldn't be like they are.


The Knicks and Lakers have the most revenue (estimated at around $350M, with Warriors just behind them at $300M - according to Forbes).

Teams could support about 50% of their revenue into payroll.

Sure, LeBron would probably be on the Lakers, and they'd likely have a few other good players there. But stars wouldn't be taking discounts to play in one town any longer, and the union wouldn't let it happen just like they didn't let A-Rod renegotiate his contract to go to the Red Sox or let players take discounts to go to different places. They always expect players to get their max money available.

Get rid of the complicated cap, increase the parity across the league.

Like it. Instead of limiting the amount of money paid around the league with hard cap, just get rid of it altogether. Not too familiar with soccer management, but I do think they have no limit a player can be paid as well

rhino17
05-15-2018, 03:09 AM
Like it. Instead of limiting the amount of money paid around the league with hard cap, just get rid of it altogether. Not too familiar with soccer management, but I do think they have no limit a player can be paid as well

If you were familiar with the soccer model in Europe ( I didn’t read the previous post carefully, but I assume that is the type of system being suggested) every soccer league in the world is incredibly top heavy and basically a competition between 2 teams if not a single team). I don’t see how that would solve the suggested problem (but again, not a problem imo)

Lakers + Giants
05-15-2018, 04:06 AM
If you were familiar with the soccer model in Europe ( I didn’t read the previous post carefully, but I assume that is the type of system being suggested) every soccer league in the world is incredibly top heavy and basically a competition between 2 teams if not a single team). I don’t see how that would solve the suggested problem (but again, not a problem imo)

They also have a relegation system to keep the bottom teams as competitive as possible. Imagine that in the NBA!

AllBall
05-15-2018, 12:59 PM
They also have a relegation system to keep the bottom teams as competitive as possible. Imagine that in the NBA!

That could be added without removing the cap. Would be comical in some instances.

sixer04fan
05-15-2018, 01:24 PM
The rise of daily fantasy sports plays a huge role in the viewership spike. DraftKings, FanDuel, etc. The NBA embraced it and capitalized on it well. Random DFS players across the country have a reason to watch a Suns-Mavs game on a weeknight because Devin Booker and Harrison Barnes are in their tournament or cash lineups.

It’s the same effect that legalized gambling will now have. Casual sports betting fans watch about 300% more games than casual non-betting fans. More people are gonna be betting now. It will generate more interest/reasons to watch games across the league. Viewership is gonna explode.

NYKalltheway
05-15-2018, 01:26 PM
If you were familiar with the soccer model in Europe ( I didn’t read the previous post carefully, but I assume that is the type of system being suggested) every soccer league in the world is incredibly top heavy and basically a competition between 2 teams if not a single team). I don’t see how that would solve the suggested problem (but again, not a problem imo)

It's not comparable really.

It's like splitting the NBA to state championships. Sure, the NY state will be 'top heavy' and the Knicks would win almost every year. The California and Texas states would have more parity but it would still be the same 3-4 teams per state competing. But when all these state champions compete with each other, it's hard to guess who the best is. And of course, some of them will have more money and usually the best of teams, but that used to not be a problem when there was a quota on imported players, that is foreigners. It's been scrapped in and now the rich teams can basically field 2 great teams using their depth while the rest can barely keep up with a roster enough for 1 good team, but you do not have that economic asymmetry in the USA, so it's not a worry. And baskteball is different, especially the one played in the US.

You cannot have a team that consists of Curry, Beal, Lebron, Durant, Cousins with De Rozan, Porzingis, Melo, Lowry and a few others in the NBA. No one can afford all of them, some of these players wouldn't accept a limited role and even if they could afford them, they can find a similar salary with an enhanced role somewhere else. Sure, some rich teams may have 3-4 star players but they can do that now as well. This just adds flexibility to the team and the players.

Also, teams 'buy' the rights of a player, not the contract. So every time you sign a player off another team, you renegotiate a contract with him. He may refuse. Most deals are money driven with exchanges being extremely rare.

Jeffy25
05-15-2018, 03:44 PM
It's not comparable really.

It's like splitting the NBA to state championships. Sure, the NY state will be 'top heavy' and the Knicks would win almost every year. The California and Texas states would have more parity but it would still be the same 3-4 teams per state competing. But when all these state champions compete with each other, it's hard to guess who the best is. And of course, some of them will have more money and usually the best of teams, but that used to not be a problem when there was a quota on imported players, that is foreigners. It's been scrapped in and now the rich teams can basically field 2 great teams using their depth while the rest can barely keep up with a roster enough for 1 good team, but you do not have that economic asymmetry in the USA, so it's not a worry. And baskteball is different, especially the one played in the US.

You cannot have a team that consists of Curry, Beal, Lebron, Durant, Cousins with De Rozan, Porzingis, Melo, Lowry and a few others in the NBA. No one can afford all of them, some of these players wouldn't accept a limited role and even if they could afford them, they can find a similar salary with an enhanced role somewhere else. Sure, some rich teams may have 3-4 star players but they can do that now as well. This just adds flexibility to the team and the players.

Also, teams 'buy' the rights of a player, not the contract. So every time you sign a player off another team, you renegotiate a contract with him. He may refuse. Most deals are money driven with exchanges being extremely rare.

If you do all of this, just expand the time of rookie control for drafted players, so teams that draft a stud like Embiid, LeBron, Durant, etc get 6-8 years of initial control over the player. Plenty of time to build around the guy. Then, the big market teams that can afford big named guys will inevitably have to accept regression time with the contract.

Example, Vince Carter:

Let's say Toronto drafts him and gets to control him under a predesignated rookie contract for 7 years

That's years 1998-99 (age 22 season) through 2004-05 (age 28 season)
Then summer of 2005, he would be free to get a huge contract

Let's call that rookie scale for the 5th overall pick like $3M, $4M, $5M, $6M, $7M, $8M, $9M (random numbers).

The Raptors have a huge window of controlled pay to build around the guy. Drafting Carter and McGrady in back to back years would give them a duo for six full seasons under cheap control. Add in a top free agent or two, and that's a legit squad.

Then if Carter wants to jump to the Knicks in the summer of 05, you better believe he's asking for a 8-10 year deal. Maybe the Knicks give him 10/$300M.

They would enjoy another 4 years of prime Carter, then 4 years of good Carter, and 2 years of role playing Carter. At the beginning, they'd love the deal. At the end, they'd be ready to be done with him.

Top market teams couldn't afford to carry 3 or even 4 top tiered guys. Even if they time it all just right, you are only going to see a few years of loaded success with no draft picks, then a forced rebuild for the second half of those deals.

It rewards teams that do a great job in the draft, balances out of the league and mid market and small market teams can still afford to sign/lock up top priced free agents. Giannis could remain a Buck, but still get paid handsomely. They just wouldn't be able to give him 2-3 huge stars. But they can retain him, and lock up several very good players to roll around him. They'd still have him another 2 years under his awesome rookie deal, and they could easily add a top tiered free agent this off-season.

Forbes says the Bucks make around $180-200M in revenue. Meaning they can support $100-110M in payroll. If Giannis is on his rookie deal making $6-7M per year right now, they can easily add a marquee guy and front load the deal the first two years, and then extend Giannis, extending their competitive window.

And no team can just load up on super stars.