"When I got seven million people waking up and then feeling bad all day because we didn't win, you know that's a heck of a thing to carry around all day," Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt told a press conference last week after losing the fourth game of the NBA finals to the Golden State Warriors.
- Two Middle East veterans to meet in the NBA finals
- James carries Cavs to overtime win over Warriors, evens NBA finals
- WATCH: David Blatt 'sings' on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'
But while Blatt has indeed generated great interest here, do seven million Israelis really intend to get up at the crack of dawn to watch the Israeli coach and his Cavs?
Obviously, Blatt was exaggerating; seven million Israelis don’t head for their televisions to watch even the most dramatic events, like wars or election results. Last Election Day, for instance, just 2.3 million Israelis watched the television exit polls in real time, even though the March election was a tad more important than an NBA game.
Blatt has achieved impressive ratings for an early morning hour at which the audience is usually near zero. But the number of viewers remains far below the average audience on any ordinary evening.
The ratings aren’t published officially, but data obtained by TheMarker shows the fourth game was watched by 78,000 people, a rating of 3.2 percent. The game’s overtime, which was already during normal morning hours, was watched by 113,000 people, or 4.8 percent. The figures include the broadcasts on both the Sport 5 channel and the HD channel.
The fifth game of the series, which was broadcast on Sunday, was less attractive to Israelis: It garnered only 45,000 viewers, or 2.1 percent. And even the decisive final moments – which proved disappointing for Blatt, as Cleveland went down to defeat – were seen by only 79,000 people, or 3.8 percent.