NBA Finals Game 2 Ratings Crash 32% from 2019

Getty Images_Kevin C. Cox (9)
Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox

The National Basketball Association is having a hard time finding an audience for its 2021 Finals, with Game 2 down 32 percent compared to the 2019 season.

The ratings did improve a bit over Game 1, however.

With its average of 9.38 million viewers on ABC, viewers for Game 2 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns increased ten percent over the dismal numbers seen for Game 1. This year’s Game 2 was also way up compared to the 2020 “bubble year” (up 41 percent). However, it was still down 32 percent from 2019, which was the last “normal” year for sports television viewership. The Game 2 numbers were also considerably worse than the Warriors-Raptors in June of that year (13.89M).

Game 2 also achieved its ranking as the most-watched NBA game of the year.

Still, the game ranks as the most-watched NBA game since Game 6 of the 2019 Finals, Sports Media Watch noted. It also helped get the NBA out of the “least-watched” category. Game 2 also out drew four of last year’s MLB World Series games.

All in all, it was a great improvement over Game 1 which came in as the second least-watched finals Game 1 ever. With 2020 setting the lowest ratings, this year’s Game 1 viewership of 8.56 million viewers was lower than the previous low when the Cavaliers-Spurs earned 9.21 million viewers in 2007.

Regardless, the NBA can’t seem to recover its past glories from 2019, before the coronavirus shutdowns.

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