Out of sight, out of mind? It was an NBA Finals strategy worth trying for the people of Oklahoma City, as a RealGM report revealed TV ratings in the metro area were down compared to last season’s Cavs/Warriors championship match-up.
“With Kevin Durant in The Finals as a member of the Golden State Warriors, one would have guessed his old fans in Oklahoma City would have tuned in to either root against him or for him. But ratings in Oklahoma City for the 2017 Finals dropped compared to 2016.
Oklahoma City averaged a 10.5 rating for The Finals, according to data provided by ESPN to RealGM. Last season, Oklahoma City averaged a 13.2 rating for the series and 11.9 for the first five games.”
While this may come as no surprise to the state of Oklahoma, there was a precedent in place that suggested the opposite might be the outcome. The 2010-11 NBA Finals, LeBron James’ first trip as a member of the Miami Heat, caused TV ratings in Northeast Ohio to spike — presumably because jubilant Cavs fans were thrilled to see the Heat fall in six games to the Dallas Mavericks. This most recent Finals lacked any such intrigue for folks in the Sooner State.
Oklahoma City notwithstanding, the NBA has to be thrilled with the buzz the Finals were able to create. According to Yahoo Sports, “The 2017 Finals also reportedly drew 20.4 million average viewers, more than last year’s epic set, the highest average viewership in almost two decades — since Michael Jordan’s last championship run and more than four times as many average viewers as this year’s Stanley Cup Finals (4.7 million).”
Way to stay strong, OKC.