Crashing NBA ratings predict Trump win
The Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics concluded September 27, registering a 30% drop in TV viewership compared to last year's Finals between two very small media market teams, the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers began September 29 and have been some of the least watched NBA Finals ever. The average number of viewers for this year's first three games is 5.3 million, down from last year's 13.6 million, a stunning drop of 61%. Although the number of viewers inched up to 5.6 million for the clinching Game 6 won by the Lakers, that is a dismal performance compared to last year's championship game, which drew 18.34 million viewers. While the NBA Finals viewership has been falling for the last few years, what's new this year is the extent to which the NBA allowed itself to be hijacked by political posturing about Black Lives Matter.
Because of COVID-19, the NBA suspended the season in March and resumed play in August. Losing over 61% of its customer base in less than 90 days got the attention of the NBA's upper management, and they responded recently by suggesting they will probably remove the Black Lives Matter messaging from the court and from the players' jerseys next year. It remains to be seen if this is going to be enough to prevent additional fans from walking away from the NBA. Enticing back the fans you've disappointed and in many cases angered is a whole other matter and will likely prove challenging.
Tuning in to an NBA game is a binary choice. One either decides to watch the game or not. When more than 61% of NBA fans decide to tune out the NBA, the result is millions of people acting together in concert, sending a message that they are pushing back against the social justice posturing seen on the court and heard from the players and sport commentators. In a way, the response of these NBA fans can be viewed as a poll, where fans are proclaiming their opinion on a highly charged segment of today's heated political environment. What's unique and remarkable is that this is a poll of people in action, not just people telling a pollster on a phone call something they may or may not really believe.
For the most part, polls today seem to be more about shaping public opinion than reporting it. How refreshing to have a poll that cannot be manipulated toward a certain outcome. The NBA ratings crash is a signal that a substantial number of fans, many of whom also happen to be voters, are completely fed up with the daily harangue of being told they are deplorable and racist, and that their guilt for being such terrible people will simply not be allowed to go away. These fans are telling America that when given the opportunity, they will act to prevent America from sliding any farther toward a grievance-based culture that uses authoritarian methods to usher in socialism. Significantly, before the NBA ratings crash, 45% of NBA TV–viewers were black.
Yes, America is not perfect, and we need to continue to work together toward the goal of equal opportunity for all. And, similar to any championship basketball team, it is the commitment of Americans of all races, creeds, and political parties to work together that will determine if American is able to constructively go forward from here.
The next opportunity for NBA fans to act arrives on Election Day. Donald Trump is campaigning to Make America Great Again, while Joe Biden seems to be focused on Let's Make America Socialist. The NBA fans, who have already chosen action once to express their disapproval of BLM, will again act to defend America from BLM and its Democratic Socialist allies by voting for Trump.
It's not just the number of NBA fans who will be voting for Trump that is significant here. What is most important to understand is that the huge number of fans who have left the NBA is evidence of how unpopular BLM and grievance politics are with the average voter nationwide. The NBA ratings crash is telling us that voters, including a large number of blacks, are highly motivated to vote for Trump, which will result in Trump being re-elected with a substantial margin.