The Hawks defeated the Bulls Thursday night in what amounted to a must-win game after an embarrassing performance on national television against the Celtics earlier this week. Scoring only 33 points in the entire second half against Boston, the Hawks’ spot in the limelight turned into an opportunity for public humiliation, with the whole country able to witness the collapse on TNT. The recent Bulls’ game, however, was only locally televised by Bally Sports, which is in the bottom third of the league in terms of averaging rating.
Judging by these numbers, you might not think Atlanta is much of a basketball town; however, the city sure is racking up viewers for national NBA games across ABC, ESPN, and TNT.
According to a league source via BasketballNews.com, the top 10 highest-rated markets for nationally televised NBA games so far this season are:
1. New Orleans
2. San Francisco
6. Los Angeles
It’s interesting that Atlanta ranks seventh in national viewership, considering the Hawks’ broadcast ranks 20th in terms of local ratings. It’s a testament to the impact Trae Young and this team is having nationwide.