Adam Silver
Adam Silver is surprised by the low ratings of the 2020 NBA Finals. Of course, competing with football during the Fall is a different animal. (Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports)

Football is still king. While the NBA is growing in popularity, it still can’t come close to the NFL. The 2020 NBA Finals have certainly been hurt by trying to compete with football. Of course, the Finals are typically held in the Summer, but this year because of the pandemic are being held in October.

The NBA isn’t just competing with the NHL for views anymore. It’s now smack in the middle of the NFL, college football, and the MLB playoffs. Yet, Adam Silver is surprised by the low ratings the 2020 NBA Finals is pulling.

VIA Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“According to sources, commissioner Adam Silver still is surprised at the low audience with LeBron James chasing his fourth title at age 35. Silver is aiming for next year’s NBA Finals to not compete in the crowded sports month of October.

Silver has made general comments that could signal a belief the emphasis on Black Lives Matter has resulted in a ratings fall.”

More so than anything, going against football is the biggest obstacle. People only carve out so many hours of TV in their schedules. People aren’t used to watching October NBA Finals. They’re ready for October baseball plus football on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It’s tough to compete against that.

LeBron James is a big pull, but it would have been a much bigger draw if the Celtics were in the Finals. The history of the Celtics and Lakers rivalry would have likely brought more viewers in based on that. The bubble also seems strange now to the viewer considering the NFL is playing in their home stadiums.

Sports ratings, mostly across the board, are taking a hit because of the pandemic and upcoming elections.