Cavs ratings and merchandise soar amid franchise resurgence

Lakers jerseys with LeBron James’ number 6 may be the best sellers in Ohio, but the Cleveland fan base is catching Cavs fever, based on some feedback provided by the organization.

Cavs merchandise sales are up 225% from a year ago, according to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com (subscription required), citing communications director Tad Carper. The team’s online store has grown by 70%.

The Cavs haven’t said which current player has the most popular jersey, but Pluto guesses it’s Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, in that order.

Unsurprisingly, the Cavs have the attention of the city, especially after the Browns let us down, yet again, as baseball struggles in a lockout.

Cavs TV ratings are also skyrocketing

Pluto gave stats from Bally Sports and the team has an average rating of 3.74, meaning it draws 57,000 “homes in northeast Ohio alone.” That’s a 78% increase, according to Pluto.

Cavs CEO Len Komoroski said the Cavs have the second highest ratings in the NBA, behind the Warriors.

Again, this is not surprising, as the Indians/Guardians generally shoot very well compared to their teams playing on regional networks. I will point out that it’s pretty remarkable that the Cavs are still doing so well, because DISH Network doesn’t carry Bally Sports and hasn’t in a while. Pluto didn’t explain how streaming plays into all of this.

Local viewers can no longer watch the Cavs on premium services YouTube and Hulu, while those who can stream through the Bally app have plenty of complaints.

Ohioans, especially in Northeastern Ohio, love their sports. Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati were all top 10 viewers for this month’s Super Bowl and the Cavs, as the only team in Ohio, are likely doing well statewide, although those numbers don’t have not been made available.

With the Cavs either the most or second most-watched game on Cleveland nights, the viewership only promises to grow. The Cavs currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, but are just 3.5 games out of first place.