ABC has been doing extremely well in ratings, setting records for the NBA Finals aired on its network. We assumed this series would be a success due to the players and teams involved, but it’s time to start getting worried. Game 1 and Game 2 weren’t close. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have been solid, but less than spectacular which means there could be a three point barrage for either player coming soon. That means ABC could be on the losing side if the Cavaliers and LeBron James don’t step up in Game 3 at Cleveland.
NBA fans will tune in to see the coronation of the Warriors if the series goes four or five games, but casual fans will tune out if the series doesn’t turn around soon. That means lower ratings for ABC and less exposure for advertising and sponsorship partners.
Oddly enough it also means less exposure for companies such as Under Armour and Nike. Under Armour has been pushing Stephen Curry during the Finals, but a sweep puts Curry on ice — figuratively and literally with his knee injury. He isn’t playing in the Olympics and it’s always easier to activate around a player who is playing basketball versus one that is on the golf course or rehabbing a knee. Nike is worried as well. That is self-explanatory as James losing quickly doesn’t help anyone involved in marketing and selling King James’ shoes especially as the battle with Curry and Under Armour heat up.
It might be a fitting ending for a 73-win team to sweep its foes out of the NBA Finals, but no one outside of the Bay Area is cheering for that outcome.