Fox Sports host Clay Travis triggers Mark Cuban bigly when he touts network’s towering ratings over NBA games

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Fox Sports Radio’s Clay Travis elicited a testy response from Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban after he pointed out on Thursday that the ‘woke’ re-launch of the NBA has produced ratings far inferior to those of prime-time Fox News shows.

“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, founder of “Outkick the Coverage,” wrote on Twitter.

“The NBA also lost in viewers aged 18-49 to three Fox News shows on Tuesday night,” Travis, who is also a media analyst, wrote in a follow-up that included a link to a Showbuzz Daily piece detailing the ratings.

Travis’ posts appeared to trigger Cuban, who is a frequent guest on Fox News programs and who is given a platform there for his Leftist views — which did not stop him from insulting Fox News viewers.

“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 wrote.

https://twitter.com/mcuban/status/1293949836123766784

Cuban’s response drew another from Travis, who challenged the “Shark Tank” co-host to criticize the crackdown on Hong Kong by China, where the NBA is popular.

“Mark, what’s up, bud? Since you’re hanging out in my mentions would you like to Tweet support for Hong Kong democracy protesters, condemn concentration camps in China, & endorse human rights for all Chinese people or do you want to continue to shut up and dribble for Chairman Xi?” Travis wrote.

Cuban didn’t respond, but several other users did.

The NBA, like virtually every other American professional sports league, incorporated a great deal of Black Lives Matter messaging to kick-off or restart seasons that were interrupted by cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The messaging was adopted in response to the George Floyd incident in May.

But like other sports leagues, television viewership for the NBA has declined significantly after officials bet that fans would return regardless because they were missing games.

In addition to incorporating BLM messaging, players in the NBA, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and the WNBA have either knelt in protest during the playing of the National Anthem or walked off the court.

The fact that there are few or no fans in stadiums is also likely to have a negative effect on the ‘atmosphere’ of games as well.

As for the NBA, earlier this month the league restarted strong, but then viewership tanked, falling 12 percent during the same period last season, Sports Illustrated reported.

Ratings on ABC fell the most — 16 percent — while viewership on TNT and ESPN were down 13 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

And in what could be a sign of things to come for the NFL, which is still planning to launch with pre-season games beginning later this month, just 273,000 people tuned in for the first episode of HBO’s long-running “Hard Knocks” series, which aired Wednesday.

“That’s a huge decline from the 705,000 who watched the first episode last year, and may be the smallest audience ever for any episode,” Pro Football Talk reported.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has committed the league to BLM messaging this season and has said that on-field kneeling and other forms of protesting the country would be allowed.

Jon Dougherty

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