Posted by Royce Young
The NBA is really popular right now. It's not where the NFL is, but it's actually gaining ground. Because of a resurgence in talent, the league really is at one of its best places in years.
And the numbers back it all up. Via Sports Media Watch, TNT averaged a 1.5 U.S. rating and 2.325 million viewers for 32 NBA games through January 27, up 25 percent in ratings and 31 percent in viewership from the same point last year (29 games: 1.2, 1.774M).
Also, NBA TV averaged a 0.3 U.S. rating and 383,000 viewers for its first 13 Fan Night telecasts. Which really isn't bad at all considering NBA TV isn't a standard cable option.
Attendance is moving up, ratings are up, revenue is up, but then again David Stern and the owners are saying the league is losing money and needs to scale back contracts. You can see the problem here for the players and owners.
That's why it's so crucial to avoid an extended lockout and any sort of work stoppage. The league is rolling along right now. It appeals to a younger audience and is building a core base of fans. Because of Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and every other young talented player out there, the NBA really is at one of its best places talent wise in a long time.
Some of this really has to do with LeBron's decision and the Heat. It drew up serious interest in the NBA. Some has to do with the return of good basketball in New York and Amar'e Stoudemire. And a lot has to do with the league in general and how strong it is. Let's just hope we don't see a step taken back this summer.