Almost 30 percent fewer people are watching Dallas Mavericks locally in the 2015-16 season, according to a Sports Business Daily report. The Mavericks are averaging a 1.66 Nielsen rating for their local broadcasts on Fox Sports Southwest, which is 29 percent drop off from last season, per the site's report.
Despite DFW being the fifth largest TV media market in the United States, the Mavericks' 1.66 rating falls far below the top local ratings in the NBA -- the Cavaliers at 9.44, the Spurs at 8.74 and the Warriors at 8.42, just to give the top three.
These numbers only account for the local FSSW broadcast, so there's no telling how much more the Mavericks are watched on League Pass and other legal or illegal streaming networks. The Mavericks also boast the fifth largest average attendance, with 581 consecutive sellouts at the American Airlines Center. (Although from what I've heard, the Mavericks have about 15,000 season ticket holders, with only a fraction of them attending each game. Their tickets go to second-party ticket sellers, but as long as they're "sold," the team can count it as a sellout. Clearly, not every seat is filled at every game.)
Why? After the DeAndre Jordan fiasco, there were not high expectations about the Mavericks headed into the season and that sentiment has probably been slow to change. My other theory is that the Dallas Stars, who were the best team in the NHL for the first half of the year, are stealing some of the local television viewers, too, particularly since they often play on the same nights.