Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 26 No. 224
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Mark Cuban Says Cable Can Be Blamed For Lower NBA TV Ratings

Cuban lamented younger fans' cord-cutting and how it has hurt the league's TV ratings so far this season
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Cuban lamented younger fans' cord-cutting and how it has hurt the league's TV ratings so far this season
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Cuban lamented younger fans' cord-cutting and how it has hurt the league's TV ratings so far this season
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said the NBA's struggle with TV ratings this season is because "all of our games, until we start on ABC, are on cable," which means if fans "cut the cord, you can't see any of our games," according to a Q&A with Brad Townsend of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Cuban said the technology for broadcasting NBA games is "changing," as the "majority of homes with millennials and younger in the household, they don’t have traditional cable TV." He also noted the "number of options for them to get our games is minimal and that's going to hurt our ratings because other than MLS," the NBA has the "youngest viewing" league. On workarounds for this challenge, Cuban said, "That's the thing we have to work out with our broadcast partners." He added if they "open it up for streaming, that makes life easier" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/3).

RATINGS ROUNDUP: The NBA's early-season ratings issues continue to be a story, with TNT (-22%) and ESPN (-19%) both showing significant double-digit drops nationally. But the NBA has a better local story to tell so far this season. While the league's RSN numbers are down 7% just a month into the season, there are some bright spots in select markets. Half of the RSNs are posting increases, led by the Magic on FS Florida (+105%) and Hawks on FS Southeast (+50%). On the other side of the coin, Wizards ratings are down 59% on NBC Sports Washington -- the NBA's biggest drop this season. Meanwhile, without Gs Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and Nets F Kevin Durant, ratings for Warriors games are down 53% on NBC Sports Bay Area, while the Cavaliers are down 36% on FS Ohio. Also of note: Nuggets ratings on Altitude are not factored into the league average (John Ourand, SBJ Media). Business Insider's Scott Davis said NBA ratings have been hurt by a "confluence of factors," including LeBron James "moving west and no longer in that eastern time slot where a lot of people are watching." Davis also cited the fact that the Warriors' success has "fallen off," as well the NBA "trying to grapple with" load management. Davis added the NBA season "for a lot of people doesn't really start counting until after Christmas and into the spring" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 12/3).