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2024 NBA Finals Ratings Slump Hard: Do Fans Need a True Villain?

The 2024 NBA Finals have come and gone with far more of a whimper than a bang, if early indications are anything to go by.
The Boston Celtics dispatched the Dallas Mavericks in five noncompetitive games, ending the series with an easy 106–88 home victory at TD Garden on Monday and clinching an NBA-best 18th championship.
And while the major metropolitan areas of Boston and Dallas were obviously vested in the lopsided games, the same can’t be said about viewers at large.

As Forbes noted, this year’s culmination of the NBA season drew its lowest viewership in three years.
On its surface, the numbers don’t seem particularly grim for the league.

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As Disney (parent company of ABC, which broadcast the Finals) touted, the series-clinching game on Monday drew a respectable 12.2 million viewers.
According to Forbes, this …

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