So it turns out your average Phoenix Suns fan might not think that night after night of watching “player development” while the team continues to wallow in the Western Conference basement makes for particularly captivating television.
Those are the findings of John Lombardo and John Ourand of sportsbusinessdaily.com. In their report released earlier this week, the revealed the Suns are among the least watched teams in the NBA, and viewership of Phoenix games has been slashed dramatically compared to last season.
The NBA's best TV stories are in Boston and DC where Celtics (+82%) and Wizards (+70%) are up big. Here's SBJ's mid-season RSN ratings report. https://t.co/YHwMFJjGtT— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 20, 2018
You have probably heard from the “like my sport” crowd that the NBA is doing okay overall when it comes to viewership. Lombardo and Ourand cite double digit increases at ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT. Entering the All-Star break those numbers added up to a 15% bump, the league’s best since the 2012-13 season.
Regional sports networks have enjoyed a 7% increase. 17 RSNs are up. 10 are down. They were not able to get data from Toronto, Utah, and Memphis.
Here are your top 5:
Golden State Warriors NBC Sports Bay Area 8.87
Cleveland Cavaliers FS Ohio 8.21
Oklahoma City Thunder FS Oklahoma 7.01
San Antonio Spurs FS Southwest 6.45
Boston Celtics NBC Sports Boston 3.65
Ok. I can understand all of those. Here are your bottom 6:
Phoenix Suns FS Arizona 0.64
Denver Nuggets Altitude 0.64
Orlando Magic FS Florida 0.61
Los Angeles Clippers Prime Ticket Los Angeles 0.58
Atlanta Hawks FS Southeast 0.58
Brooklyn Nets YES 0.42
I think it’s worth noting that when it comes to wins and losses your Suns currently sit dead last in the Western Conference and tied for dead last in the NBA. So these numbers are at least better than that, and don’t you dare tell me about how Phoenix is the fifth most populous city in the United States.
And here are your biggest losers:
Orlando Magic FS Florida -11%
Sacramento Kings NBC Sports California -22%
Los Angeles Clippers Prime Ticket Los Angeles -42%
Phoenix Suns FS Arizona -46%
Atlanta Hawks FS Southeast -50%
Here’s a discussion I would like to have with you, dear reader. Have your viewing habits changed while the Suns are navigating the darkness that is eight years without a playoff appearance?
I’m more informed about the Phoenix Suns today than I have been at any time in my life. But that has more to do with the opportunities provided to me by Bright Side of the Sun. I think I’ve hit my deepest valley as far as emotional investment though. I was going to say that may have happened in college when I was preoccupied with other things, but then memories of Jake Voskuhl beating the Spurs with two seconds remaining came flooding back.
Tip to buzzer the Suns game is always on somewhere in our house. But it’s not always being watched. How do you consume the Phoenix product in this era of meaningless basketball?