Hawks’ TV ratings fall after record season

It’s not just the Hawks’ win-loss record that has declined this season. So, too, have their local TV ratings.

According to an analysis of Nielsen data for NBA teams by Sports Business Journal, the Hawks have tied for the league’s second largest decline in local ratings.

The Hawks averaged a 1.28 rating for their games on Fox Sports Southeast through late January, down 33 percent from their 1.9 local rating at a comparable point last season, the study showed.

Even so, the Hawks’ ratings remain well above where they were before a viewership surge that accompanied last season’s stirring 60-win record.

The Hawks’ telecasts averaged a 1.0 rating locally for the full 2013-2014 season, then spiked 120 percent to an average of 2.2 for the full 2014-15 season — the Hawks’ best rating in available team records.

By comparison, the Hawks averaged a 1.35 rating in the 2008-09 season, when they got a boost with their first regular-season winning record in 10 years.

The only team with a larger percentage drop than the Hawks in local ratings this season through telecasts of late January, according to the Sports Business Journal study, was Washington, down 34 percent to 0.96. Matching the Hawks’ decline was New Orleans, down 33 percent to a 1.11 rating.

The biggest gain was posted by defending NBA champion Golden State, up 120 percent to an 8.42 rating in its local market. Cleveland posted the highest local rating at 9.44.

The rating represents the number of homes out of every 100 in the market that watched the game telecasts on average.

The Hawks, who have a 31-24 record, will return to action from the All-Star break on Friday night at Philips Arena against Miami.

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