NFL draft blows out NBA playoffs in ratings battle

More than twice as many people watched the NFL draft than the NBA playoffs on Thursday night.

The combined overnight rating for the first round of the draft was a 6.42, with ESPN generating a 5.47 rating and NFL Network getting 0.95. TNT got a 2.1 rating for the Chicago Bulls’ NBA playoff win over the Cleveland Cavaliers and a 3.0 rating for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The numbers are the latest reminder that in American sports, nothing even comes close to the NFL. That’s why the NFL’s decision to schedule a regular-season game at the same time as the World Series is just good business sense.

It’s also why Mark Cuban’s complaints about the scheduling of the draft are silly: If the NBA doesn’t want to go head-to-head with the NFL draft in prime time, it should move its games to the daytime.

64 responses to “NFL draft blows out NBA playoffs in ratings battle

  1. Who watches the NBA anymore? I thought the NBA ceased to be relevant when Jordan retired? And MLB? I can barely muster the energy anymore to follow a poorly run league, 162 game, 3 1/2 hour per game season anymore. YAWN. The NFL needs to continue humiliating those worthless leagues by scheduling events against them.
    I’d love to compare the NBA ratings for their draft to the NFL draft ratings. Also, does anyone even watch the MLB draft? Is it even on TV???
    One thing regarding the NFL Draft ratings…I feel bad for the folks that were forced to watch the draft on ESPN. If you aren’t watching the draft on the NFL Network then you’re wasting your time listening to some woman interview draft picks about how they enjoyed hugging Goodell or listening to some fat sweat-bag making retarded observations. Mike Mayock and Rich Eisen are SUPERB and should not be missed. We can dump Michael Irvin, but that’s a conversation for another time.

  2. Other than Kobe, LeBron or Shaq, I couldn’t name a player on any of those four teams.
    Amazingly, I could probably name the entire starting lineups of the 90s-era Chicago Bulls, the 80s Lakers, the 90s Sonics (now known as the Thunder). I could name a few Cavs from the 90s; mainly the ones Michale Jordan spent his career abusing.
    The point is, the NBA sucks now. No one knows who the players are, because no one cares. Other than LeBron, none of the stars are likable. None of the stars can even be in the argument for “best ever” at their position. No players dazzle you with their game. There is really no reason to turn a game on until there’s four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
    I can’t remember the last regular season game I watched. It might honestly be back in the 90s.

  3. This was to be expected, I mean the NBA?
    The NBA hasn’t been relevant since Jordan and the early – mid 90’s..
    Poor marketing and too much thug mentatlity.
    The NFL at least tries to curb this.

  4. How about moving the NBA games to all day Saturday, then the NFL will get ticked and move round 1 back where it should be … saturday at noon.

  5. playoff basketball atleast for right now in the first round aren’t all that exciting until the 4th quarter.
    and thats about the time i switched from the draft to TNT when the 3rd quarter had just ended.

  6. Maybe more people could or would see the games if they weren’t on NBA TV for 10:30 pm EST tip offs. Idiots. Hard to get excited about a game you don’t have access to.

  7. But she still said no!!!!!
    That is what whick girl in Vail Colorado told Kobe also however he already was going in the back door! NBA sucks…………..

  8. Take that Mark Cuban, you have a terrible product. Your Playoff teams can’t even draw more interest than the NFL Draft which is in the middle of its offseason. The NBA can really only beat out one other sport, the WNBA, which really isn’t even a sport.

  9. The NBA bores me. But we are also comparing an event that involved all 32 teams vs 2 games that involved 4 markets.
    First round games and 1-8 match-ups.

  10. Football has a regular season that lasts 16 weeks and 1 day. Basketball, baseball, and hockey all have regular seasons that last 6 months plus/minus a couple weeks. I think that professional soccer league in this country plays 57 weeks out of the year.
    The point is that the NFL plays its regular season in less than 4 months and it should no way cater to these other sports. Not having a game on every Sunday night during the regular season was a ridiculous idea.

  11. I think the NFL is better than the NBA, however it both leagues could have spoken to each other and have come up with a TV schedule so they wouldn’t over lap each other… Just saying…

  12. Dear Mark Cuban:
    On behalf of NFL fans around the country
    “Bite Me”
    Once again your lame ass attempt for attention has failed.

  13. The Blackhawks actually got higher ratings than the Bulls did for the first few games of the playoffs. Would not be surprised if the same happened last night. People in Chicago were jumping all over last night. Hawks-Cubs-White Sox and Bulls were all playing at the same time with the draft happening on top of it.

  14. Basketball a game of inconsequential score after inconsequential score. It’s a game where if given the score you’d know what part of the game they’re in.

  15. Seriously Florio, what is the point of this post? We all know football is king. Cuban is right, that the NFL is just being a bully moving the draft to primetime during another sport playoffs.

  16. I’m a Sixer’s fan, so i can attest there is NO professional basketball, at least in Philly….The NFL draft would have outrated the 7th game of the NBA finals…

  17. MLB should keep quiet and just be thankful that the NFL recognizes its schedule. I get tired of looking at the September schedule for baseball teams and knowing which weekends certain NFL teams will be home and away before Goodell releases the schedule.

  18. When did the NBA expand to Oklahoma City? And seriously, “The Thunder”? Seems kinda sick naming a sports team after the sound a federal building makes when it gets blown up by a wackadoo.

  19. Those numbers are so weak its not like no one watched the NBA playoffs. I mean the Draft is a huge event but with ratings the NBA is the only league coming close to NFL. Not a huge disparity here. Show me something on a little bit fairer ground look at the hype around this draft all the advertising…NBA advertises but not like the Draft. How about some better match ups the whole country is not tuning in for an OKC game or a Bulls game…If Kobe and LeBron meet in the Finals it will be the highest rated sporting event of the decade.

  20. Stone said:
    I feel bad for the folks that were forced to watch the draft on ESPN. If you aren’t watching the draft on the NFL Network then you’re wasting your time listening to some woman interview draft picks about how they enjoyed hugging Goodell or listening to some fat sweat-bag making retarded observations. Mike Mayock and Rich Eisen are SUPERB and should not be missed. We can dump Michael Irvin, but that’s a conversation for another time.
    —————
    Amen bruddah!!! And anything with Rich Eisen is better than anything ESPN can put together.

  21. When there are two far superior sports on, as in the NFL draft and the NHL playoffs, why would anyone watch a bunch of thugs feeling each other up trying to put an orange ball in a hoop?

  22. I was flipping back and forth between both, but that’s because I have a team in the NBA playoffs. If that wasn’t the case I would probably just have watched the draft.

  23. “If the NBA doesn’t want to go head-to-head with the NFL draft in prime time, it should move its games to the daytime.”
    Classic.
    For those who say this is only the first round of the NBA Playoffs and that is why the NFL Draft destroyed the NBA Playoffs, I would guess that the first round of the NFL Draft would also beat Game Seven of the NBA Finals (I assume they play best of seven.) and a game of a World Series so long as it was not the final game. The NFL is THE television sport in the USA with nothing else being close.

  24. It’s all well and good for the NFL to flex its muscle, but they shouldn’t forget that there is a group of people who love nothing more than to flex muscles of their own. And those people tend to do things with no better reason than to get themselves elected every two years.
    If the NFL starts pushing around the other sports leagues, you can bet it won’t be too long before somebody in Congress starts rattling their sabre about monopolies and antitrust exemptions.

  25. You mean people don’t want to watch Lebron run out of control to the hoop, throw up a trash shot, and get bailed out by the refs!?!?!?
    Who wouldn’t want to watch 60 minutes of free throws!?!?
    And, of course, I love seeing defenders run away from Lebron so he can do a Super Duper Dunk!! And then clap for him after he slams it home!
    Used to be an NBA fanatic back in the day, now would rather watch the combine.
    Do I hear a cry for a return to 11 rounds????

  26. IMAGINE THAT!!! If there was a redneck race on tho the NFL ratings would have plummeted!!! the NFL used to be the #1 spectator sport!!! Lost to rednreck racing!!!

  27. the real question is…
    round 2 of the nfl draft
    vs.
    nba playoffs
    just because i dont like to see grown men get embarassed im not even sure we should post the results

  28. If the NFLN got rid of Micheal Irvin their ratings would beat ESPN. NBA is on tv for when there is nothing else to watch. Wait and see what happens when sunday night football takes a giant crap on the World Series!

  29. If the NFLN got rid of Micheal Irvin their ratings would beat ESPN. NBA is on tv for when there is nothing else to watch. Wait and see what happens when sunday night football takes a giant crap on the World Series!

  30. But if you don’t watch NBA games you can’t watch all the players dance like they’re in the Club before they take the court.

  31. I personally had ALL OF MY HD 52″ Flat Screens on last night with the NFL Network on the Left, the MUTE AWFUL ESPN Coverage on the Right, and the NBA on in the middle! You see I like them both for ONE REASON, they both are VERY EASY TO THROW DOWN ON! Now until you can bet on the NFL Draft, I’ll take the NBA. The best time of year is November when you can parlay the NFL and NBA together! Don’t kid yourself, the reason the NFL is so popular is the GAMBLING aspect of it.

  32. It is funny how Mark Cuban’s making demands to the NFL. You don’t normally see the weaker entities making demands to their superiors.

  33. I definitely agree with the NFL Network advocates out there. ESPN is absolute garbage. You can almost see the pain in Jon Gruden’s face putting up with those idiots all night. Berman is BY FAR the worst. He never has anything of substance to add, he just stutters over every other word while struggling to produce coherent sentences. It’s a shame to see all of the people that tuned into ESPN instead of NFLN.
    On a side note, to those were criticizing the naming of the OKC Thunder, how about we examine some NFL team names?
    Browns
    Texans
    Chargers
    Packers
    Do I need to keep going? Most sports teams have lame/un-intimidating mascots.

  34. The NBA needs to go back to the Showtime era. The game today is BORING — slowed-down, defensive-oriented. How many time outs do teams have? 20 a half? And it’s so tiresome seeing players and coaches complain about every call that goes against them.

  35. If Kobe and LeBron meet in the Finals it will be the highest rated sporting event of the decade.
    Congrats. You win the “Stupidest Statement on PFT Today” Award.
    I don’t care if Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson join Kobe and LeBron, no NBA Final will ever have as high a rating as a Super Bowl. I doubt they will even get HALF the ratings of a Super Bowl.

  36. I love NBA and NFL. I watched the NFL draft last night through ESPN. The analysts make more sense.
    They’re not so anti-tebow. I love coach Gruden and Steve Young. Most of the NFL analyst( channel 88)
    are so hateful against Tebow. That’s why more people watched the ESPN…

  37. Yea espn sucked. i would write more but complaining about how horrible it was is letting them win. somehow.

  38. The NFL sucks. You’re all sheep. The Yankees-Red Sox did over 5 million viewers on Opeing Night between national numbers and Boston/NY. That’s a regular season game between two teams. If you consider the huge, overhyped event that they’ve turned this into, the numbers aren’t that good. 7+ million viewers for an event that should attract fans of all 30 teams? Not that great. To trumpet these numbers and use them as an example of the NFL’s dominance in the sports landscape is nonsense. Considering what they’ve turned this into, they should beat the NBA Playoffs and anything else going on. The MLB All-Star game will do better numbers. I don’t think this says much for the NFL. MLB is at least as popular. I know in many markets it definitely is.

  39. Excuse me. Are you not going to print my comments because I had the nerve to quesion the NFL’s dominance? I didn’t know this was supposed to be an NFL lovefest. Just shedding some reality on the situation. The numbers are not that good.

  40. The NBA Playoffs are such a joke of course the NFL Draft will win. What’s the point of watching the first 3 rounds of the NBA when everybody knows it’ll be Lakers vs. Cavs in the finals. You might as well call it the Lakers Invitational or the Cavs Invitational. Stanley Cup Playoffs are where it’s at.

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