NBA ratings down sharply for ABC from last year

The NBA’s first international Finals may be a coup for Canada, but decidedly not for ABC.

Viewership for the first two games of the series between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors was down sharply from last year’s finals. The Nielsen company said the first game’s audience was off 28 percent from 2018, while the second game dropped 29 percent.

LeBron James fans may point to the star’s absence, but geography likely accounts for most of the drop. Toronto’s television audience is not included in the Nielsen ratings, since it’s out of the U.S. Missing one team’s fan base is a huge hurdle for ABC.

It’s Golden State’s fifth straight appearance in the finals, while Toronto is there for the first time.

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