Trail Blazers TV Viewership Down An NBA-Worst 49% From Last Season


There are lots of reasons to be frustrated with the Portland Trail Blazers this season. They have the fifth-worst record in the NBA. Their head coach has a career record of 75-143 and there is no sense his job is in jeopardy. Franchise trustee Jody Allen hasn’t spoken publicly, ever. Some fans are still upset with the Damian Lillard situation where the Blazers ended up trading the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. It could also be the fact that Xfinity decided two days before the season that Root Sports Northwest would be included on the Premium package and cost fans an extra $20 a month to access the channel.

With all of those problems it’s not a surprise that viewership is down for the team. But there is surprise that viewership is this far down. According to the Sports Business Journal, the Portland Trail Blazers have seen the largest percentage decline in local TV viewership among NBA teams this season. Viewership of their games, which air on Root Sports Northwest, is down 49% year over year.

Some saving grace could be the contract with Root Sports ends after the 2024-2025 season. So maybe at that point the team will be more competitive and they can come up with a better and more accessible deal. But because of the current TV deal on Root Sports, the extra money you have to pay for it, and that it is not on streaming platforms like YouTube TV. It is hard to watch the Blazers in their local market.

It’s not all bad for the Trail Blazers. Portland is averaging 18, 354 fans this season at Moda Center, which ranks 13th in the NBA, down from 18,716 last season, which ranked 10th in the NBA and is only a 1.9% decrease from last season.

There is still an appetite for Trail Blazers basketball in the Portland area. But there are signs that some fans are not happy with the direction of the team. Is there anything that the franchise can do to earn the trust of their fans again? Or is change needed? There are lots of questions. And not a lot of answers.

Get John Canzano’s thoughts on the decreasing local viewership for the Trail Blazers on the Bald Faced Truth, afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.