The Lakers have been horrible this season. They have also been on national TV a lot, something that has led to predictable consternation from TV talking heads and Twitter pundits alike. The rebuttal to that line of thinking has always been that as long as the team was bringing in big ratings numbers from it's large Los Angeles market, ABC/ESPN/TNT would continue to put them on.
It seems that the Lakers may finally be bad enough to lose some of that large audience this season, per Sports Media Watch:
The Nuggets/Lakers NBA regular season game earned 727,000 viewers on TNT Tuesday night, the smallest NBA audience of the season on any network (excludes NBA TV). The previous low was 733,000 for Nuggets/Grizzlies on TNT last month. Overall, it was the least-watched nationally televised game since Sixers/Heat in April 2013 - a game that was blacked out in the home markets and aired opposite the Final Four (683K). Rockets/Suns drew 893,000 earlier in the night, the fourth-smallest audience of the season.
BREAKING NEWS: People do not like to spend three hours watching bad basketball between two non-playoff teams. Expect to hear more numbers like with the Lakers scheduled to make five more non-NBA TV national TV appearances this season as of this writing.