One of the commenters to our story about the NHL vs NBA attendance debate brought up a point in regard to television ratings - namely, that NBA ratings are increasing over last season.
Seemingly, this is a fly in the ointment for the argument that the NBA is struggling right now. Or is it?
As evidence, the commenter pointed to this article from Nielsen. On the surface, it seems to indicate some rosy figures for the league. To wit:
2008-09 Season vs. 2007-08 Season Ratings, % Change
New Orleans, 163%
New York, 17%
L.A. Lakers, 14%
Anyone else notice something missing from that picture? That is to say, what about the other 23 teams? If the top 10 on your list includes Memphis and Philadelphia, and their improvement is just a marginal one, what about the bottom ten? How have their ratings gone this year?
I'm not saying those other 23 teams are worse, and I'm not saying they're necessarily better, I'm just saying, well, I'm saying I have no idea, and neither does anyone else without access to the information.
Pointing to that website and saying, "See, I told you the league is prosperous!" is somewhat like pointing to a list of the top teams with the 10 best won-loss records in the league and saying, "See, I told you all the teams are winning this year!"
We only know 1/3 of the story. I can't imagine I'm the only one out there curious to see the rest of the story. Any ad-men out there with access to that sort of info, feel free to educate us.