Mar 2, 2022 - Sports

NBA ratings: Warriors shine, Nuggets face disaster

Image credit Data:  Sports Business Journal; Note: Comparable data for the Grizzlies, Jazz  and Raptors wasn't available; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
Image credit Data: Sports Business Journal; Note: Comparable data for the Grizzlies, Jazz and Raptors wasn't available; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The Warriors are poised to have the NBA's highest local TV ratings for the fifth time in six years, while the Nuggets are staring down the wrong kind of history.

By the numbers: Golden State averaged a 7.63 rating on NBC Sports Bay Area through mid-February, SBJ's John Ourand reports. That's more than double the second-place Cavaliers' 3.74 rating on Bally Sports Ohio.

  • Cheers to Chicago: The much-improved Bulls (second in the East) have been one of the season's biggest success stories both on and off the court, with ratings up 83% on NBC Sports Chicago.
  • Two-team cities: The Knicks' ratings (1.43 on MSG) are nearly double the Nets (0.72 on YES), while the Lakers (1.84 on Spectrum SportsNet) are more than triple the Clippers (0.55 on Bally Sports SoCal).

And then there's Denver ... The Nuggets' 0.19 rating is on pace to be the lowest NBA local rating in at least 15 years — and it's all thanks to a business dispute.

  • Altitude Sports, the network that broadcasts Nuggets games, has been in a stalemate with Comcast, the state's largest cable provider, since September 2019. Dish Network doesn't carry it, either.
  • As a result, hundreds of thousands of Denver-area sports fans haven't been able to watch the Nuggets during one of the best stretches in franchise history. They're missing the Nikola Jokić experience!
  • "We're losing a generation of fans," says Colorado's House Speaker Alec Garnett, who has co-sponsored a bill that would give the state's attorney general the power to effectively end extended blackouts.

Zoom out: Altitude also broadcasts the Avalanche, who just became the fourth team in NHL history to win 40 of its first 54 games, and the Rapids, who won the MLS Western Conference last year for the first time ever.

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