We already know that Cleveland is a great sports town, now the rest of the NBA knows it as well. Approaching levels not seen since another #23 was on the court, the Cavaliers led the NBA in local regular-season TV ratings, posting the highest number in over a decade, so say Sports Business Journal.
But the biggest success story came from LeBron James and his Cleveland teammates, who set a regular-season ratings record for Fox Sports Ohio with an 8.76 rating/134,000 homes. The Cavs posted the highest rating number since the Chicago Bulls averaged an 8.9 rating in Chicago for the 1997-98 season, Michael Jordan’s final season with that club.
Even more stunning is the fact that an average of 134,000 Cleveland-area homes tuned in for each Cavs game, second only to the Lakers’ 250,000 average on Fox Sports West. Cleveland is the country’s 17th-largest TV market.
Through the first half of the season, Fox Sports Ohio posted the league’s highest ratings, at 7.7. The numbers grew in the last three months of the regular season. “We started the season strong and ended it stronger,” said Henry Ford, senior vice president and general manager for Fox Sports Ohio.
With help from the Cavs, league-wide viewership is up 8.8%
The fact that Cleveland draws anywhere close to Los Angeles, given the population difference shows exactly what kind of sports town Cleveland can be!