This has been a season to forget for the Lakers, and Angelenos couldn’t bear to watch.
As they took the court in San Antonio on Wednesday to close the 2013-14 season, the Lakers were on track to finish with a 2.15 household rating for the season on TWC Sports Net, according to Nielsen — their lowest rating ever on cable television. This is a whopping 54% falloff from last year’s 4.63 household rating on the same network.
The decline has only grown as the season progressed, too, as the team had one losing month after another and ended up winning fewer than one third of its games. Its average rating was tracking 38% lower in January and 49% by the middle of March.
In terms of the actual number of households, roughly 140,000 fewer watched on average this season (122,000 vs. 262,000 a season ago). And in total viewers, the team is averaging 177,000 per game, or 55% below last year’s 390,000.
Prior to last season, the Lakers’ lowest average household rating on Fox Sports West was 2.71 for the 2004-05 season.
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 other NBA team in Los Angeles, the playoff-bound Clippers, have narrowed the ratings gap with the Lakers to the closest margin on record — 2.15 to 1.27 (or 72,000 homes) for the Clippers on Prime Ticket.