While viewership across the NBA has risen rapidly, the Milwaukee Bucks are struggling to get attention. According to Street & Smith’s Sport Business Journal Daily, games around the league are getting more viewers. Games on ABC are up 10 percent, while games on TNT and ESPN have soared by 25 and 20 percent, respectively.
The Bucks, on the other hand, haven’t been quite so lucky. While they have not undergone a drastic drop since last year, the Milwaukee numbers remain dismal. At 15,000 households per game, the Bucks games are only putting up a 1.62 TV rating in the local market. Keep in mind that Bradley Center has over 18,000 seats — so there are more seats in the BC than there are households watching at home.
Only Charlotte draws fewer households than the Bucks (13,000/game) and the Bobcats are a historically horrific wreck this year. In larger markets, the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls both pull in over 200,000 households each, in other words, far more than 10 times what the Bucks draw.
When it comes to other NBA franchises, many have experienced dramatic spikes in viewership:
The Minnesota Timberwolves (+140 percent), Oklahoma City Thunder (+140 percent), Los Angeles Clippers (+138 percent) and Philadelphia 76ers (+112 percent) have more than doubled their local TV ratings this year, according to Nielsen figures through the middle of the month.
Other teams have not been so fortunate. The Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs have lost viewers, though they still maintain higher ratings than the Bucks.
Aside from the Bobcats, the team which compares most evenly with the Bucks is the team they play tonight: the Washington Wizards. The Wiz draw 27,000 households per game (a 1.13 rating), a figure which is down 20 percent less from the previous season.