It took the “Big Three” and particularly the trade that James Harden to Brooklyn, but the Nets have overtaken the Knicks in regional TV ratings.
Reports Marc Berman of the Post...
Since his Jan. 16 debut, the Nets on YES Network are outperforming the Knicks on MSG Network in viewership in the New York market, according to industry sources.
In their eight games on YES, the Nets are leading the Knicks by an average of 10 percent. The numbers factor in MSG Network and its spillover channel MSG Plus.
The Nets, since Harden’s first game, are averaging 122,000 viewers per game to the Knicks’ 111,000 viewers, based on Nielsen ratings, according to sources.
It had been a trend earlier in the season both in terms of regional TV ratings as well as the local numbers for national numbers. But the trend has accelerated since Harden joined the team and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant returned from time off.
Moreover, Berman reports “the Knicks’ average viewership has dropped 13 percent since Harden’s arrival.” The Post reporter does note that the Knicks were on a West Coast trip recently meaning their games started late. The Nets have yet to venture further west than Oklahoma City.
Still, five years ago in the 2015-16, the Knicks ratings on MSG were more than four times those of the Nets on YES. On average, the Nets were delivering a mere 34,000 households to YES. Since then, the two broadcasts fortunes have slowly reversed just as their teams have.
There are other indicators as well. The Nets’ “Big Three” debut on January 20 was NBA League Pass’ most-viewed game in the U.S. — and fourth most-viewed game across the globe — this season.
Moreover, the Nets six games on ESPN and TNT —all wins— have also driven high ratings both nationally and locally. Last night’s Nets - Clippers game on TNT averaged 1.6 million viewers to garner a 32 percent increase in viewership on TNT over last year’s corresponding game. In New York, the game averaged 196,000 total viewers (peaking at 339,000 during the 10:00-10:15 pm quarter-hour as the game came to an exciting close).
It’s not just TV. The Nets are also winning the battle of the back page. A survey of the tabloid back pages —those of the Post, Daily News and Newsday— shows that the Nets have dominated those pages, with 26 pages while the Knicks have had 15. The methodology? If a back page is comprised of at least 50 percent Nets (or Knicks) imagery, then that qualifies a Nets (or Knicks) back page.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Madison Square Garden Sports, the publicly listed parent company that controls the Knicks and Rangers, said revenue fell 90 percent for the three months ending December 31 to $29 million. As a result it lost $38 million compared to breaking even a year earlier.
Always gonna be a Knicks town?
- James Harden helping Nets beat Knicks in TV ratings war - Marc Berman - New York Post
- Knicks, Rangers parent MSG Sports posts 90% revenue drop due to COVID - Josh Kosman - New York Post
- Sources: Nets Beating Knicks In N.Y. Viewership Since Harden’s Debut - Sports Business Daily