The Los Angeles Lakers currently have the sixth worst record in the NBA and it has affected the team’s television ratings on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. With Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash only appearing in six games and the entire backcourt decimated by injuries, ratings have declined by 37.5 percent compared to the same period last season.
According to Nielsen ratings, the Lakers are averaging only 2.72 ratings over the first 40 games which is a significant drop off from 4.35 last season. Having said that, Lakers spokesman John Black believes fans “continue to have an appetite for Lakers programming” via Los Angeles Times:
“Although the TWC ratings are down, we know that Lakers fans continue to have an appetite for Lakers programming, be it live games, classic games or original programming.”
With the Lakers losing 17 of 20 games and in a tie with the Sacramento Kings for last place in the Western Conference, Black says there’s still a fan base who follows the team:
“We all know that we can’t be championship contenders every year, but there is still an enormous base of Lakers fans who are following this team.”
Although the ratings have declined significantly, the same could be said for the Clippers who are down 14.7 percent compared to last season. Both teams have seen their ratings dip because of injuries to their star players. The Lakers averaged a 3.57 rating when Kobe was playing while the Clippers averaged a 1.39 when Chris Paul was playing.
For the Lakers, they have a history of putting the best product on the court. While Los Angeles wasn’t a championship contender heading into this season, they were expected to at least compete for a playoff spot until injuries derailed them once again. With Kobe out for at least three weeks, it will be difficult to see these ratings improve until he returns.
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