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YES ratings still lowest ... but up 11 percent over 2016-17

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The local TV ratings are in and the Nets had the lowest rating in the NBA for the fourth consecutive year, but the 0.38 number represented an 11 percent bump over 2016-17, first in the Nets rebuild, according to Sports Business Journal’s annual survey.

The 0.38 rating means that a little more than one-third of one percent of New York’s TV households were tuned into Nets games on YES. That’s around 27,000 households. The SBJ survey did not list the Knicks ratings, but they generally are about six or more times higher.

The ratings do not mean the Nets had the smallest local TV audience. New York’s market of 7.4 million households is by far the largest in the U.S. For example, the Clippers had a 0.54 rating this season, which translates into about the same audience as the Nets. The Magic, with the second lowest local TV ratings at 0.48, had only 7,400 households watching.

The 11 percent ratings jump was an outlier among the teams with the lowest ratings. Of the five teams with the lowest ratings, only the Nets posted an increase. The Suns, Clippers, Hawks and Magic all saw ratings drops of 25 percent or more over the 2016-17 season. However, the Nets 2016-17 ratings were the lowest for any NBA team since the 2010-11 season when the Nets on YES averaged a 0.31.

Also, the overall season ratings showed a dropoff after the All-Star Break. Prior to that, the Nets rating was 0.42.

Overall, the league’s best teams had the best ratings. The Warriors (8.36), Cavaliers (7.98) and Thunder (7.05) topped the list. The Timberwolves (76 percent), Celtics (44 percent) and 76ers (40 percent) had the biggest jumps. Conversely, the league’s biggest disappointments had the biggest losses, with the Hawks (53 percent), Suns (48 percent) and Clippers (41 percent) showing the biggest drops.

The Nets also gained attendance this season, but the increase was less than one percent.