Hawks forward John Collins blocks a shot by the Lakers’ LeBron James during the second half of a Feb. 12 game in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Leadoff: Hawks’ TV ratings fourth lowest in NBA

The Hawks’ local TV ratings are up slightly this season, but still near the bottom of the NBA. 

Ratings in the Atlanta television market for Hawks games on Fox Sports Southeast have increased 3 percent from this point a year ago to 0.60, which is the fourth lowest among the league’s 30 teams in their home markets, according to a SportsBusiness Journal analysis of NBA ratings at the All-Star break

The Hawks’ rating means 0.60 of every 100 households in the Atlanta market — or about 14,000 homes — have watched the team’s telecasts on average. 

The only NBA teams with lower ratings in their local markets this season are the Orlando Magic (0.44), Brooklyn Nets (0.47) and Los Angeles Clippers (0.53), according to the SBJ study. The Golden State Warriors have the highest local rating at 7.43. On average, local ratings are down 10 percent across the league. 

At this point last season, the Hawks were averaging a 0.58 rating. That dipped to 0.52 for all of last season, a 53-percent decline from the 2016-17 season.  

The Hawks (19-39) return from the All-Star break to play the Detroit Pistons on Friday night and the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, both games at State Farm Arena and on Fox Sports Southeast. 

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LEADOFF LINKS

> There’s going to be quite a battle in the NL East this season, based on projected win totals posted Sunday by the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. It has the Nationals at 89.5 wins and the Braves, Mets and Phillies at 86.5 wins apiece.

 > In an interview Monday with 680 The Fan’s Buck Belue and John Kincade, Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos seemed to suggest the team has been (and perhaps remains?) more engaged than widely perceived in the free-agent and/or trade markets: “We keep things close to the vest here,” Anthopoulos said. “I understand in doing so that people will have to put two and two together and come up with their own conclusions, and ultimately the narrative right now might be they’re not going for anybody. I guess all I’d say is it doesn’t do us any good for people to know who we are actively trying to sign and who we’re actively trying to trade for. And if ultimately the perception is that we are not being as active as people would like us to be, I have to wear that because I’m trying to do the right thing for the Atlanta Braves. So if all of a sudden we sign somebody tomorrow for a big-dollar contract and I’m not foreshadowing and trying to say that at all … I’m not looking for an ‘I told you so’ or anything like that.” 

 

> In Kirby Smart’s three years as Georgia’s football coach, UGA has built a $65 million locker room/recruiting space at Sanford Stadium and a $30 million indoor practice facility. At Wednesday’s meeting of the UGA Athletic Association board, members will be briefed on the apparent next project: a football building with an expected price tag of more than $50 million. See story here.

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