Ratings Show Nobody Cares About The NBA All-Star Game Anymore

Antony Edwards dunks at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game

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Professional sports leagues have historically had some trouble drumming up hype for the All-Star Games that should theoretically be appointment viewing but tend to leave plenty to be desired when everything is said and done.

In 2003, Major League Baseball tried to give its best players some incentive to care about the outcome of the contest when it announced the winning league would be granted home-field advantage in the World Series. However, it ultimately abandoned that format in 2016.

It took the NFL longer than it probably should’ve to admit nobody really cares about the Pro Bowl by reworking the snoozefest after the 2022 contest garnered some absolutely abysmal television ratings.

The NBA has also repeatedly tinkered with its approach to the All-Star Game in recent years.

In 2018, it abandoned the Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format in favor of allowing two captains to draft their roster, and a couple of years later, it reworked the fourth quarter by introducing the “target score” concept that’s a bit more confusing than it probably needs to be.

Unfortunately, those efforts haven’t really done much to give fans much incentive to tune in—and the league might have to consider seriously reworking things based on how much interest (or lack thereof) last weekend’s showdown in Utah was able to generate.

According to Sports Media Watch, the 2023 All-Star Game saw viewership drop by 29% from 2022 and was only able to attract 4.59 million viewers between TBS and TNT, which makes it the least-viewed contest in the event’s recorded history (the 2021 edition had previously set the lowest bar at around six million people).

As if that wasn’t bad enough, it also failed to sniff the numbers the NFL posted during this year’s reworked Pro Bowl (which drew in around 6.3 million viewers).

This shouldn’t come as a huge shock to anyone who had to watch Vin Diesel awkwardly try to pump up the crowd prior to a contest that left fans, players, and coaches incredibly unsatisfied (Nuggets head coach Mike Malone described it as “the worst basketball game ever played”).

There’s no obvious fix, but based on how things are trending, one thing is clear: the current approach ain’t it.

Connor Toole avatar and headshot for BroBible
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.