Has Lakers' poor season affected ratings?

lakers5.jpgPerhaps a bit, according to Nielsen numbers for the first half of the season. Games on Time Warner Cable's SportsNet averaged a 4.3 rating, which is down 10 percent from the like period in 2010-2011 (last year was shortened because of the lockout). That's a drop of about 24,000 households compared with a gain of 137,500 households for the Knicks. Leading the local ratings race is Oklahoma City, which had an average 8.6 for the first half of the year, up 207 percent from 2010-2011, before the team really got going. The Thunder was followed by San Antonio, Miami, Utah, and the Lakers. Laker comparisons get dicey because DirecTV didn't carry games until a month into the season and last year's away games were shown on KCAL, which generated higher ratings because everyone had access to the station. From Sports Business Daily:

"The formula is simple: The Thunder are one of the best teams in the league, Kevin Durant is one of the most marketable stars in the league, and the Thunder is the only professional sports team in Oklahoma," said Jon Heidtke, FS Oklahoma senior vice president and general manager. "I'm not surprised by the TV ratings they're pulling in."

In looking only at home games, THR found the Lakers to be averaging a 5.6 rating. As you can see, there are lots of ways to slice the onion. In general, though, the Lakers do not lose many viewers in bad years. The fan base is quite loyal and the soap opera quotient remains high. Meanwhile, the network games seem to be doing well. From the Reporter:

TNT, which carries games mostly on Thursdays, is on pace to deliver the network's third-most-viewed NBA season in a decade, and games on ABC are on pace with 2011-12. And ratings for the Lakers' Staples Center rivals, the L.A. Clippers -- tops in the Pacific Division with a 41-18 record -- are up 56 percent, though still nowhere near the Lakers' numbers.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent Sports stories:
Lakers 'faith' may lead to folly
Doug Krikorian back on the beat in Long Beach
Jonathan Martin's Harvard-Westlake (and LA)
The beard stands on principle
The case for Ed Orgeron

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook