Fox News’ viewership rocketed above the NBA’s earlier this week, sparking debate over whether the sports league’s increasing embrace of social justice messaging is turning off fans.
Outkick founder Clay Travis pointed out the stark difference between the number of people who tuned in to Fox News to watch hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham on Tuesday instead of the NBA.
“Head to head on Monday night on cable: Tucker Carlson viewership: 4.5 million. Lakers-Nuggets viewership: 1.5 million. Head-to-head on Tuesday night: Sean Hannity: 4.6 million, Blazers-Mavs: 930k. Yikes, NBA,” Travis tweeted, citing data from Show Buzz Daily.
Mark Cuban, who owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, took offense at Travis pointing out the numbers. Cuban claimed that Fox’s viewership spiked on Tuesday because presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced his vice-presidential pick, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), earlier in the day.
“Lol. You do realize that was the day @JoeBiden picked @KamalaHarris? Nothing makes a Fox News viewer want to get lied to more. And while we are at it, explain why advertisers pay 3x or more for a prime time @Nba spot over a Fox News Spot? And who has had advertiser boycotts?” Cuban tweeted.
Cuban also said that “conservative media,” of which he suggested Travis is a part, obsessively covers the NBA while at the same time claiming that nobody cares about the league.
“Mark, I’m not ‘conservative media’ I’m ‘call out blatant hypocrisies when a league claims to care about human rights, but takes billions of dollars from modern day Nazis’ media. You just can’t tell the difference because NBA media is filled with far left wing ballwashers,” Travis responded.
“Unlike the NBA & China, however, the first amendment is alive and well on @outkick. So @mcuban has an open invite to come on my show and explain how he reconciles protesting for human rights while taking money from modern day Nazis. I’d love to hear him explain it,” Travis said.
Travis also delved into why he thinks the NBA is losing viewership in a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday. Travis said that the league’s embrace of social justice messaging while seemingly ignoring widespread human rights abuses by the Chinese government has turned off much of the NBA’s fan base.
“The NBA ratings, they’re tanking, alright? The NBA can try to argue that they aren’t, but if you compare the NBA ratings with every other sport that has come back, they have collapsed. And it’s because they’ve gone full-bore political,” Travis said. “The hypocrisies are mind-blowing, okay? And the NBA is the most hypocritical league probably in the history of American sports in the 21st century and the reason why people are tuning out is because the American public in general is not stupid. They see this hypocrisy and they’ve peaced out on the NBA.”
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