Audiences for the first four games of the NBA Finals saw a steeper drop from last year, mainly due to a schedule jostled by the pandemic.
Game 3 in the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat series attracted just 5.9 million viewers in the United States, a record since the final matches began to be systematically broadcast live in 1982.
None of the first four matches of this final exceeded 8 million viewers, which ranks them in the top four places among the worst audiences of the modern era.
Several elected Republicans and conservative commentators immediately attributed this plunge to what they consider to be the politicization of the NBA.
After a dialogue with its players, the North American Basketball League has chosen to include the words “Black Lives Matter” on its floors this season.
It also allowed players to put civic messages on their jerseys in the usual place of their name.
All the sporting events of the last few weeks have recorded significant declines.
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