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NBA Finals Ratings Decline as Controversy Over Pro Sports Champs Visiting WH Continues

By Gavi Greenspan | June 12, 2018 | 11:20am EDT
Cleveland Cavaliers' star LeBron James (Screenshot)

The day after players from both teams competing in the NBA finals announced they would not attend a White House reception honoring them, if their team were to win the NBA championship, television viewership for the final game of the series fell to a four-year low.

On Friday, Cavaliers’ LeBron James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry declared their teams have “no interest” in visiting President Donald Trump at the White House to celebrate winning the NBA crown, NBA.com reports.

Viewership for each of the four games of this year’s NBA championship series declined, as the Golden State Warriors completed a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.

Saturday’s game four ABC broadcast recorded an 11.2 rating, falling to the lowest level since 2014, Sports Watch Media reports:

“The 11.2 is the lowest for any NBA Finals game during the four-year run of Warriors-Cavs matchups (22 telecasts dating back to 2015). The previous mark was an 11.8 for Games 2 and 3 in 2016. The last finals game with a lower overnight was Game 4 of the 2014 Spurs-Heat finals (10.6).”

While ratings for each of this year’s four games failed to match last year’s level, only game four recorded a double-digit loss from its 2017 counterpart, dropping 11.2%.

The Warriors aren’t the only major pro sports championship team to miss an opportunity to be honored by Pres. Trump at the White House. Trump cancelled a reception for the NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles when it was revealed that a number of the Eagles players planned to boycott the event, CNSNews.com reported last week.

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