HomeNewsBasketballUSA

Silver: NBA will consider earlier West Coast games to boost TV numbers

The NBA may soon be moving up the games involving some of its marquee teams and players in a move to improve television viewership.

Speaking on NBC’s Today show, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the decline in national NBA TV ratings this season, which fell 5 percent from the 2017-18 campaign. It was the first season in his career where LeBron James, one of the NBA’s most popular players, played for a team outside the US Eastern time zone. Thirteen of 30 NBA teams are in the Eastern time zone, but the Golden State Warriors, winners of three of the last four league titles, and its prominent star Stephen Curry play the Pacific time zone, three hours behind Eastern.

“Fifty percent of television households in this country are in the Eastern time zone,” Silver said. “And so if your West Coast games start at 10:30 at night in the East, you’re invariably going to lose a lot of viewers around 11, 11:30. I mean, you can just chart it. You see how many television households turn off around 11:15, 11:30 at night, just because people have to get up for work in the morning.

“I mean, it is something we can address. We’re talking about it,” Silver continued. “I mean, it would obviously be less convenient to those fans on the West Coast if we played even earlier. I mean, just think about people getting to those arenas after work if you start a game at 6 p.m. local time in the West. It’s not the most convenient thing. It’s not as convenient for a television watcher on the West Coast, either. But when you look at the league from a national standpoint, it may make sense to play a little bit earlier in the West. And that’s something we’re going to talk to our teams about this summer.”

Such a move would also require consultation with the league’s TV partners, notably Turner Sports and ESPN/Disney.

Most recent

Uefa will go to market later this year with the rights to the Champions League and Europa League under pressure from Europe’s top clubs to at least maintain the kind of growth it enjoyed in the current cycle. But there are reasons why that will be a massive challenge.

Internet giant Amazon will pay more than public-service broadcaster France Télévisions for a substantially smaller package of rights to the French Open’s 2021-23 cycle.

Chinese social media giant Tencent saw off competition from rival streaming player Youku Tudou to retain the NBA’s digital rights in the country for the 2020-25 cycle at a record-breaking fee, underscoring the strong growth in China’s streaming market in recent years.

The German Bundesliga’s international sales and marketing arm, Bundesliga International, is set for a busy 12 months of media-rights sales as the league approaches the conclusion of deals across the Americas, Asia, Middle East and North Africa.