Both the MLB and NBA started off with great numbers but then fell off. Critics are blaming the leagues’ embrace of Black Lives Matter.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Major League Baseball “really fell off after opening day. In general, both leagues aren’t getting the audience one might expect from a nation that’s been deprived of entertainment for months,” tweeted The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss on Sunday.
The National Basketball Association also didn’t do well. Both leagues had started off with great numbers.
Last Thursday’s opening night game between the Yankees and Nationals pulled in 4.01 million viewers on ESPN. It was the “largest season opening audience on record and the largest regular season MLB audience on any network in nine years,” says Sports Media Watch.
Also last Thursday, the NBA resumed play with a Lakers-Clippers game, which averaged 3.4 million viewers, more than double its regular in-season audience, says CNBC.
Their numbers dropped sharply later in the week.
Critics are blaming the leagues’ embrace of Black Lives Matter. Both leagues started their games with ceremonies honoring the controversial movement.
At the MLB game, a black stripe was laid around the infield and held by Yankee and Nationals’ players as they knelt prior to the National Anthem. At the NBA game, both teams knelt while the National Anthem played. They wore black shirts with white text: “Black Lives Matter.”
Outkick’s Ryan Glasspiegel put up the numbers for the second night for each league. The difference was dramatic.
MLB (last Friday, ESPN)
Mets-Braves (4p) – 922K
Brewers-Cubs(7p) – 1.0M
Angels-As (10p) – 797K
NBA (last night ESPN) (July 31)
Celtics-Bucks (6:30p) – 1.3M
Mavs-Rockets (9p)- 1.7M
The Black Lives Matter movement still enjoys widespread support among Americans. Sixty-nine percent support it, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll last week.
However, critics say there’s a “silent majority” which disapproves of the violence brought on in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, including the tearing down of statues, the destruction and looting of property, the targeting of policemen and the burning of the American flag.