A few weeks ago I wrote an article on the regular season fan attendance for the NBA and the NHL. With the conclusion of the NHL season and the NBA finals two games deep, I wanted to take a look at the viewership for the playoffs for each sport, specifically the championship series.
The NBA has seen success based on great teams, players, and series. The Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat featured superstars like Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh (when healthy), Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. Players in the Finals will be just as good with James, Wade, Bosh, Durant, Harden and Westbrook. If the players were not reason enough to watch this years playoffs, the series (specifically the Eastern Conference Finals) was spectacular. The seven game series in the Eastern Conference Finals saw everything a basketball fan could want in a series... including a little controversy.
I am not going to pretend to be a NHL fan.... at all, but the lack of attention for their championship amazes me. Not only was viewership down, but the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports' seemed to care very little about the Stanley Cup as well. I understand ESPN's reason for talking up the NBA Finals (televised on ABC) more than the Stanley Cup Finals (televised on NBC), but we are talking about the STANLEY CUP, a major championship for one of the four major sport leagues in the United States. At the conclusion of an NBA Finals game, ESPN can talk all night about the game. Every aspect of the game being analyzed for hours. At the conclusion of a Stanley Cup Finals game, they will talk about the game..... briefly.
Statistics from: tvbythenumbers.com, espn.com