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Strauss: The NBA’s big conference finals viewership drop

Strauss: The NBA’s big conference finals viewership drop

Are we witnessing a trend or a pandemic aberration? It’s a big question as we take in an NBA postseason unlike any other. It hangs over our assessments of Milwaukee’s early flameout and over the success of the Heat. By parting ways with Doc Rivers, the Clippers seem to have decided that the bizarre bubble setting was a real continuation of past seasons. Similarly, few NBA fans thought to spare Paul George’s feelings after he disappointed in these odd playoffs, which followed a four-month season stoppage. We, as media and fans, have largely signed onto the idea that the bubble is real and its results are valid.

Do we feel the same way about the dramatic, possibly unprecedented viewership drop-off? Well, that’s less agreed upon. Heading into the postseason, I wrote about the troubling (mostly pre-pandemic) trends. The epilogue, as we enter the NBA Finals, is that those trends did not improve. In this space, I will go over the numbers, because they are…

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