Pelicans' disastrous season leads to plummeting TV ratings, dead last ranking in league viewership _lowres

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) drives past New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis (23) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 99-84. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Even the most diehard fans might be changing the channel when the New Orleans Pelicans play.

A disappointing season – plagued by injuries and unmet expectations – has led to a sharp decline in local TV rankings for the Pelicans.

The team ranks last in the NBA for audience size, averaging 7,000 households per game, or a decrease of 36 percent, according to a report from Sports Business Journal.

The Pelicans rank second-to-last in average ratings changes among all NBA teams, with a decrease of 33 percent.

Nearby, the Atlanta Hawks also rank in the bottom five teams for average ratings changes, while the San Antonio Spurs continue to see some of the highest local rankings in the league.

Just last year, the Pelicans saw ratings increase more than any other team in the league, except for one.

In contract, the New Orleans Saints fare much better in local TV rankings. In 2014, New Orleans had the second-highest local TV ratings in the NFL. In 2015, just in the preseason, the Saints ranked No. 1 in the league in local TV ratings.

Read the full Sports Business Journal report here.