While some think the NBA will surpass Major League Baseball in popularity, they should probably be more concerned with the NBA being caught by the NHL.
While the New York Knicks had the largest television audience among all NBA or NHL teams this past season, the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins ranked second and third outdrawing the other 29 NBA teams, including the Bulls and the Celtics according to Sports Business Daily.
The top five teams in the NBA combined for an average audience of 585,000, down 27.4% from the top five a year ago and just 10.8% bigger than the combined audience of the top five NHL teams (528,000).
The NHL’s numbers are down also from a year ago. However, teams played just 48 games in the lockout-shortened season, a 41.5% drop in the total number of games available to watch.
The total audience for the top five teams in the NHL appears to be up slightly from the 2011-12 season, although the data is incomplete.
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