Converged collapse

Case Study: NBA

The NBA took another L Wednesday. This time, in the NBA Finals on ABC with the Lakers and LeBron James. Only 7.41 million viewers watched the industry-hyped matchup. Per Sports Media Watch, this is the least-watched Finals opener since … on record.

Game 1 is down an unheard of 44{5274a41d3bd2aa3d5829764fe19e8a7ecbc79c108731aad5f1ff2d292e60e2b4} from last year’s matchup, which featured a team from Canada. During last year’s Finals tank-job, media members yelled “one team is from Canada,” and “there is no LeBron.”

The NBA is taking tanking to never-before-seen depths. If LeBron and the Lakers in the Finals can’t save this collapse — nothing will. This is the best-case scenario. Imagine these numbers when the Nuggets finally win the West and the media has to push that over the NFL.

Compared to 2018, the last Finals with LeBron, Game 1 is down 58{5274a41d3bd2aa3d5829764fe19e8a7ecbc79c108731aad5f1ff2d292e60e2b4}. That kind of slide is what gets TV shows canceled and showrunners chased out of the business.

Usually it takes ten years for a converged company to lose 50 percent of its audience. The NBA has managed to do it in two.