NBA Commissioner Says League Will Explore Starting Games Earlier
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the league may look at starting games played on the West Coast a bit earlier in the future.
The move would be in an attempt to draw in more viewers on the East Coast to the action on the other side of the country.
The NBA had some drop-offs in television ratings this last season and Silver believes that some of that may have to do with player movement over the last offseason.
Speaking with NBC Today’s Craig Melvin, Silver specifically cited LeBron James’ move to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Face it, LeBron is one of the biggest stars in the world, and he also played in the East,” said Silver. “And so, the reason I look a little bit tired is a lot of our games are in the West, and it’s late at night. And I recognize most people choose to go to sleep at a reasonable time. And so, from a rating standpoint, not having LeBron in the playoffs, not having him in the East, has clearly impacted ratings.”
Considering how many of the league’s marquee teams, including the Golden State Warriors, play in the Pacific Time Zone, Silver said the league will examine starting games at a different time going forward.
“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,” said Silver.
It’s possible that Jazz games may be effected by the change. When Jazz games are televised locally, the game is usually scheduled for 7 p.m. On nights where they play on national TV, tip off is often scheduled for 8:30 p.m. or so.
The Jazz were one of the top-rated teams in local TV ratings this last season.