Sports in 2020 is more akin to an intramural beer league softball season than any sort of serious competition. These are abbreviated seasons with plenty of players opting out, strange rule changes, and an overall feeling of amateurishness.
We have the global coronavirus pandemic to thank for these abbreviated athletic campaigns, with no real end in sight at this time. Some fans have taken to enjoying these games for what they are: Practice for 2021.
But with a heavy dose of social and political animosity finding its way to the court, the field, and the rink, there are plenty of fans who are simply tuning out.
The NBA and MLB, two of the nation’s biggest pro sports, have returned to TV after the COVID-19 hiatus. However, their ratings show that fans just aren’t all that interested in the new, woke version of the leagues.
But both leagues have struggled to limp past a few million viewers for any particular game, and overall TV ratings have dipped below the pre-pandemic numbers.
According to SportMediaWatch, the NBA’s ratings have fallen and MLB is “weak.”
The NBA has struggled to average more than 1.5 million viewers, and baseball is in no better shape. For the NBA’s opening week, the league averaged 1.56 million viewers, down from the already lackluster pre-coronavirus average of 1.62 million. Baseball has seen a smattering of numbers that hover, in most cases, well below 1.5 million average viewers.
The numbers for the NBA are particularly worrisome given that many of the are low performing games are playoff seeding games that have taken place in primetime. These are supposed to be the biggest games to date, games that will decide playoff matchups.
How bad were these numbers?
Several major games failed to draw even the same number of viewers as Rachel Maddow’s program on MSNBC.
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