LeBron James Going West Hurt TV-Ratings; NBA Looking Into Starting West Games Earlier

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LeBron James Going West Hurt TV-Ratings; NBA Looking Into Starting West Games Earlier


It’s crazy how one single player can change the landscape of the entire NBA.

While LeBron’s move to the Western Conference wasn’t as successful as he had wished for in his first year, the Eastern Conference has suffered as well, even though the conference is more exciting now and closer than ever.

This season, the NBA has seen a drop in TV ratings caused by James’ move to the Lakers and his absence in the playoffs. In an interview with Today, NBA commissioner Adam Silver now revealed that he might be willing to do something drastic to bring the ratings back up. Something that would basically screw NBA fans who live in the very West of the States:


Face it, LeBron is one of the biggest stars in the world, and he also played in the East.

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.

Fifty percent of television households in this country are in the Eastern time zone. 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. 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.


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