Television ratings dip from last season for Game 1 of NBA Finals


Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Spurs and Heat drew 14.2 million viewers, easily winning the television ratings for the night for ABC.

But that number is off 12 percent from last season when the Heat were playing the Oklahoma City Thunder (that drew 16.2 million), and it is down slightly from the 2011 finals when the Heat faced the Dallas Mavericks (15.2 million).

However, the game’s ratings did beat the six years before that, going back to 2004 and the Shaq/Kobe Lakers.

Why the decrease? Well, the Spurs have just never been a big national draw, for one. Also, there may be some fatigue with the Heat — a lot of people tuned in to root against LeBron James and Miami, but that seems to be tempered since they won last year.

Ratings for games generally climb throughout a series. Game 1 of these finals was very entertaining so we may see a big jump.

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.