Countless media outlets have written about the NBA’s decline in popularity since Michael Jordan retired 22 years ago, but this year the television ratings have declined too low to ignore. The excuses are many, Lebron, injuries, cable, Lebron, broadcast contracts, Kobe, Kawhi, Lebron. Clueless Commissioner Silver defended the league’s popularity, pointing to rising overseas viewership and social media hits. He even suggested a midseason tournament to increase interest, and the internet collectively moaned. Mark Cuban, who recently received a 500k fine from the NBA for exercising his free speech, blames cable for the lack of interest in the players, content, and overall product. Miami Heat coach Steve Spagnuolo was proactive with his product enhancement, reminding all the 18-30 year olds watching a basketball game at home on a Friday night that they should read up on Emilia Earhart or check their Tinder for international hits.
What the NBA and other failing media ventures don’t want to admit, is that they ostracized their core American fan base over the past 5 years with their relentless wokeness. Disney/ABC/ESPN mega corp owns the rights to NBA’s major broadcasts, and it is no coincidence that their ratings have declined during the same period. Why? Sportscenter, once a euphemism for 60 minutes of statistical testosterone in the late 20th century, has morphed into a 60 minute NBA infomercial loaded with players’ and analysts’ liberal political, racial, and moral opinions. Sorry highlights, stats, and fun, this is the Trump era! If the NBA wants to become relevant again in the American market, they need to ditch Disney’s sinking sports ship, renew the deal with TNT and the beloved Sir Charles and EJ, dump the ultra woke effeminate victim LeQueen culture, and target the young market with affordable streaming options parents will buy, since most under 25 year olds only see live games via pirated streams on reddit.