NBA Finals Game 5 Ratings Crash Nearly 50% from 2019

NBA Finals Game 5 Ratings Crash Nearly 50% from 2019

The National Basketball Association’s 2021 finals have been a ratings disaster, and Game 5 is no different, with numbers down 49 percent over the 2019 season.

Game 5 rolled in at less than 10 million viewers earning only 9.6 million fans, according to SportsMediaWatch.

Granted, the game improved seven percent over the dismal 2020 coronavirus year, but it was a huge loser compared to 2019, the last “normal” NBA season. In 2019, for instance, Game 5 between the Warriors and Raptors earned 18.4 million viewers.

NBA Finals slips back under 10M mark on a Saturday night
— Up just 7% from last year's Game 5 (top game in the "bubble")
— Down big 49% from Game 5 in '19 (Durant return/Achilles)
— Still among ten most-watched (non-football) sportscasts since 2019https://t.co/33Uy1hH1FC

— Sports Media Watch (@paulsen_smw) July 20, 2021

So far, the 2021 NBA finals are off by millions of viewers per game compared to 2019 (2020 being set aside because of the pandemic).

Before Game 5, the lowest-rated game of the series was Game 1, which lost 5 million viewers from 2019. However, Game 5 now tops that with nine million fewer fans. Both Game 2 and Game 3 were down more than 30 percent over 2019.

SportsMediaWatch recently revealed the stark numbers:

2019 Finals:

  • Game 1: 13.5 million
  • Game 2: 14.1 million
  • Game 3: 13.44 million
  • Game 4: 13.2 million
  • Game 5: 18.3 million

2021 Finals:

  • Game 1: 8.6 million
  • Game 2: 9.4 million
  • Game 3: 9 million
  • Game 4: 10.3 million
  • Game 5 – 9.6 million

Game 6 drew more than 18 million viewers in 2019. However, looking at that number, it seems highly unlikely that this year’s Game 6 will come anywhere near that total.

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