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The 2023 NBA All-Star game numbers were released this week, and quite frankly, they were awful. It was the lowest-rated and least-watched NBA All-Star Game of all time. According to the numbers posted by Sports Media Watch, though the game was aired on both TNT and TBS, it averaged a combined 2.2 rating and 4.59 million viewers. Ratings have declined by 29% and viewership by 27% compared to last year’s game. All-Star viewership has been trending down. However, this year’s viewership has been the lowest since 2000, a year after the NBA lockout of 1998-1999. Some argue that a key contributor to the game’s decline in viewership was due to key stars being out such as Steph Curry and the game exits of LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Compared to other All-Star games in other professional leagues the NBA All-Star Game ranked the lowest in viewership, such as the NFL Pro Bowl re-imaged which brought in 6.28 million viewers on ESPN, ABC, and DisneyXD. The MLB All-Star Game was the highest bringing in 7.51 million viewers. The historic lows did go on to include the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities. The NBA All-Star Saturday Night received 1.6 and 3.42 million viewers, the lowest within two decades, even with Mac McClung restoring the feeling in the dunk contest.
Michael Malone, head coach of the Denver Nuggets told reporters after the All-Star Game that this was “the worst basketball game ever played.” There were two positive takeaways from NBA All-Star Weekend, the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on ESPN went up in ratings from 6 to 8% and brought in 1.40 million views. The NBA All-Star draft leading up to the game increased 10% from last year to 3.9 million viewers.