SALT LAKE CITY — If it feels like you're watching more Utah Jazz games on TV this year, you're not alone.
Despite a dip in overall NBA ratings, with the average rating of regional sports networks from 28 U.S.-based teams falling 10 percent from last season, Utah's AT&T SportsNet broadcasts have flourished.
Viewership for Jazz games on the network are up 58 percent, according to Sports Business Daily.
"Thank you for loving this team!" Jazz president Steve Starks tweeted. "Despite the league’s overall television ratings being down, @utahjazz are up 58% this year. The Jazz also have the second highest ratings in the league (up from 5th last year). #TakeNote"
Denver (85 percent increase), Dallas (up 74 percent) and Utah have been the only teams rising above 50 percent.
Not surprisingly, Cleveland has suffered the biggest drop. Their ratings are down 56 percent this season after losing their all-time franchise player, LeBron James. Also not surprisingly, Lakers' telecasts have seen a 42 percent viewership increase on Spectrum SportsNet since James moved to L.A.
The Jazz are also one of the top teams in average rating per game.
Golden State still leads the NBA in TV ratings, but fewer fans are watching this Warriors team on the NBC Sports Bay Area network compared to last year. Though their 7.43 rating tops the league, it is down 16 percent from 2017-18.
The top and bottom of the local ratings give a hint at the rise of small-market teams and fall of larger markets. The Jazz and Thunder (FS Oklahoma) both earn average ratings of 6.30, which is up 58 percent for Utah but down 10 percent for OKC. Indiana (3.61 rating) also made the top five.
Conversely, the Brooklyn Nets (0.47) and Los Angeles Clippers (0.53) are bottom five in local ratings of their large markets. The Nets are still the second-least-watched team in their market despite being much improved over previous seasons.Comment on this story
When looking at the league totals for national televised games, TNT broadcasts (1.54 million) are down 18 percent, NBA TV (294,000) has taken a dive of 17 percent, while ABC (4.36 million) is down 3 percent and ESPN (1.66 million) has remained the same.
ABC has only had two primetime games in the book that James missed, leading to less viewership. James' absence has affected the other national channels as he's missed a large chunk of the Lakers' 43 nationally televised games.
Data from Toronto and Memphis was not provided for the SBD report.