Lakers’ TV Ratings Down Nearly 50% From Last Season

Lakers' TV Ratings Down Nearly 50%

Clippers ratings also down despite strong year, indicating Lakers having negative impact on overall L.A. market

Fans have bailed on the Los Angeles Lakers during their miserable 2013-14 season, with local TV ratings down sharply from last year.

Looking at Nielsen’s “Live plus same-day” ratings for the 2013-14 season, the 57 telecasts of Lakers games on Time Warner Cable SportsNet have averaged 199,000 viewers — down a whopping 49% from last year at this time (390,000). The team has been without stars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash for just about all of the season, and has one of the worst records in basketball at 22-44 this season.

Meanwhile, viewership is also down, but by not nearly as much, for the city’s Clippers, which is a bit surprising since they have had a good season and are headed for the playoffs next month. It could be that the Lakers’ struggles have gotten some fans out of the basketball habit, and contributed to the decline for the Clippers — even if their games don’t regularly appear on the same network.

The Lakers’ ratings decline has swelled in recent weeks as even the most optimistic fan had to know that the team wasn’t headed for the postseason. Four of their last seven losses have come by 20 points or more and the three most recent Lakers games have averaged a meager 72,000 viewers; a year ago, games on the comparable dates averaged 586,000, or more than eight times as much.

Time Warner Cable Sports Network is in its second year of a 25-year, $5-billion deal as the local television carrier of the Lakers.

The Clippers, who lead the NBA’s Pacific Division, have averaged 96,000 viewers for their first 59 telecasts of the season on longtime carrier Prime Ticket — down 21% from 121,000 at this time a year ago. Their three most recent games have averaged 106,000.

This is believed to be the closest the Clippers have come to the Lakers in television ratings since the 1999-2000 season. And despite the declines, and remaining well behind the Lakers in popularity, the Clippers are still having one of their most-watched seasons to date.

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  1. DMoSlice says:

    Pretty narrow point of view. So Lakers still have better viewership over Clippers even with 50% drop and the Clippers being at a franchise best…ever! is this really correlated or is this just a Lackluster season for the NBA overall due to too many injuries overall and the large number of non-competing franchises in the league. Maybe a point of reference would help…?

  2. Jim Buss Must Go says:

    Jim Buss, ladies and gentlemen.

    • nativetexan2012 says:

      You’re dreaming if you think Jim Buss is going anywhere. I don’t think you can blame him for the over 250 games lost to injury this season. The team is rebuilding. It happens. Get used to Buss. He’s not going anywhere whether you or I like it.

  3. nativetexan2012 says:

    No surprise that the ratings are down with Kobe & Nash not playing, and the team playing poorly. Look at the roster. Most people have no clue who most of those guys are. Ratings (and wins) will go back up once Kobe is back on the court. It’s not rocket science.

  4. Jeremy says:

    I been writing this in all the Laker blogs before the season even started, that this is how your season would turn out. A couple more bad seasons like this one (and it is very possible) your franchise will be finished. I’m sad to say it’s quite possible, with today’s generation that only cares about what’s hot, and legacy and history mean nothing to them, the Clippers have got your franchise in its sights, and is moving in for the kill. I’m give years, I can see moving the Lakers to Seattle, so that passionate fan base had a team again. Your once proud franchise is in the brink of extinction, I haven’t seen a fall from an empire this great, since China’s Lau Dynasty back in 302AD! *drops the mic, I’m ouuuuut!*

    • pierre says:

      wow @jeremy unbelievable but could be true, will be interesting to see what happens..

      • nativetexan2012 says:

        @jeremy That’s a bit of hyperbole don’t you think? You act like the Lakers have never had a bad season before. It’s unlikely that they will have another injury-riddled season like the last two plus they will be getting at least one great player in the draft. So far all the Clippers have done lately is fail to get past the first round of the playoffs. Regular season means nothing. It’s all about the playoffs and championships. The Lakers will be in a position to get some great players in free agency over the next couple of years, and they still have Kobe. No one is moving to Seattle. Maybe you should cut back on the coffee.

  5. Nando medina says:

    Thanks to Jim buss!

  6. Cut-The-Cable Guy says:

    Hey TWCSN are you going to cut your rates by 50% for your Laker offerings?

    Thought not.

    Cut the cable people!

  7. DirecTV says:

    How’s that deal working out for you TWCSN?

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