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Despite a league-wide drop in ratings, the Spurs lead the NBA in local viewership

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Somehow, someway, more people are watching the local Spurs broadcast than even championship contenders.

San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA has seen a massive drop in local television ratings over the last two seasons, especially from the league’s top four viewed teams of the 2017-18 season. Per RealGM:

Local ratings for the four NBA teams with the highest local television ratings is 3.3, according to data from Sports Business Daily.

Just two seasons ago the four teams with the highest local ratings were at 7.6, representing a 57 percent drop.

During the 17-18 season, the four most-watched teams were the Warriors at a 8.87 rating, the Cavaliers at 8.21, the Thunder at 7.01 and the Spurs at 6.45.

Despite the massive drop and a rough season of their own, the Spurs are still somehow leading the league in local viewership with a rating of 3.51 as one of only seven teams above 3.00. Unsurprisingly, the Warriors have probably seen the most drastic drop in viewership this season at 66%, and nationally broadcast games are down 12%.

It’s not hard to imagine the Warriors will rebound next season as their stars return from injury, but it is interesting that the Spurs are beating out other big markets with better teams at the moment. Maybe the Los Angeles market is split between its two teams, which could explain why the Spurs are outdoing the star-studded, championship-contending Lakers and Clippers, but it seems the NBA may be need to work on marketing its local networks better, especially as more households move from cable to streaming services.


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