SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs faced the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2007 NBA Finals, but despite the star power it had - Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and then-Cavalier LeBron James - it didn't attract viewership.
In fact, Game 1 of the Spurs-Cavaliers series drew in a 6.3 rating and 9.21 million viewers.
That dubious record has stood for 15 years, but it was challenged this year.
Game 1 of the Boston-Golden State 2022 NBA Finals was the least-watched Game 1 in June since the Spurs beat the Cavaliers in 2007.
According to Sports Media Watch, Celtics-Warriors Game one averaged a 6.4 rating and 11.9 million viewers across ABC (6.1, 11.4M) and ESPN2 (0.31, 501K).
The NBA did release its 2022 Game 1 viewer numbers stating it averaged nearly 12 million viewers (11,901,000) across ABC and ESPN2 on June 2. It was up 37 percent from last year’s Game 1, according to Nielsen.
It is interesting that despite marquee names like Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, viewership dipped to such a low level for a Game 1 Finals match.
As far as local viewership, the Spurs posted their fourth consecutive decline and have seen their ratings drop 74% since the 2015-16 season.
According to Sports Business Journal, last season, the Spurs’ rating on Bally Sports Southwest was 2.29. Compare that to the 2010-11 Spurs team, which pulled a 10.19 rating.