Has The NBA Finally Recovered From The Low Ratings Of 2020?

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NBA Analysis Network

In 2020, the National Basketball Association experienced a massive drop in ratings. Fans, pundits, and players all sought to discover the reasons why. Some claimed it was due to the encroaching political activism of players, some suggested people were getting tired of basketball, and some believed that players simply did not want to watch sports during such a time as 2020.

Whatever the case may be, the truth remains; the National Basketball Association experienced one of its worst years. To the point that, many were convinced that the NBA might never recover. After all, not only did they lose a lot of fans, but they lost a lot of bettors as well, which does significantly impact the industry. All of this leads us to ask one question: where does the NBA stand now?

Where The NBA Stands

The National Basketball Association regular season in 2022/23 averaged approximately 1.59 million viewers, however, it is a drop when compared to the 2021/22 regular season, which averaged 1.61 million. Furthermore, if we take a look at the NBA in the past two decades, we would find that the last season was one of the least watched NBA seasons in the past twenty years.

However, the numbers have significantly improved since 2019 and 2020. Indeed, those two seasons saw an average viewership of 1.5 million and 1.36 million respectively. So, it wouldn’t be correct to say that there hasn’t been an improvement. Furthermore, sportsbooks continue to see a rise in interest for NBA bets. And if you are wondering “what are the best legal sportsbooks in my state?,” well we have the answer.

As we can see, the National Basketball Association, while in recovery, has not fully recovered yet. So, what does that entail for the future?

The Future Of The NBA

Leaving aside what doomsayers may say, the future of the National Basketball Association is not as bad as it may seem. Of course, they cannot compete with the NFL. After all, a vast majority of Americans list football as their favorite sport. However, when comparing basketball games to Major League Baseball or hockey, we clearly see that the NBA comes out on top.

For example, while NBA might have had a low ratings season in 2022/23, they far outperformed Major League Baseball, which only average approximately 930,000 viewers last season. And that isn’t even considered all that bad for MLB. Hockey, on the other hand, is taking an even greater dive.

In 2022, soccer officially surpassed hockey as America’s fourth-most watched sport. The NHL managed to only pull just over 470,000 viewers, which, if you can believe, was an improvement from the season before that. What we are saying is, basketball fans have nothing to fear.

The National Basketball Association remains the second most successful sports organization in the country, and basketball has not lost the popularity it once enjoyed. Certainly, the numbers and ratings are down. But, they are nowhere near apocalyptic.

About Evan Massey 531 Articles
Evan Massey is an NBA Insider and Reporter for NBA Analysis Network. He has worked for many publications including Forbes, Yahoo! Sports, and ESPN. Make sure to follow Evan on Twitter at @massey_evan.