NBA Commissioner Adam Silver talked to Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson and Stephanie Ruhle Thursday about various league-related topics. But what stood out in this interview was the possibility of having 10 A.M. games (Eastern time) on Saturday.
Thanks to NBC Pro Basketball Talk for transcribing this. Here’s what Silver said:
“I think the biggest challenge (to growing the game internationally) is the time zone differences. I mean, for example, in China, roughly 12 hours different from the East Coast. So prime time games are on early in the morning, so you have to figure out whether we need to create new products, condensed games that are shown later, whether it becomes a business of highlights, whether it’s equivalent of tweets and other forms of social media.
“I think that’s sort of — part of the biggest challenge. I mean, ultimately, whether we should consider time-shifting some of our games. Once the audience becomes big enough, maybe it’s not so crazy to ask a team once every two months to play a Saturday morning game….
“Yes, maybe when the audience gets big enough in China and you’re reaching 100 million people in China to say so maybe once in a while a team will play at 10:00 on Saturday morning.”
Silver mentioned that the NBA is not close yet but they are watching the market closely. If it’s to get more eyeballs on the product then it’s all good. NBA players can play a game that early. No problem.
Living in the West Coast, we do get some weekend games that start at 10 A.M. But if the NBA does start showing games at 10 A.M. EST, that would mean that we’d get a 7 A.M. start. That sounds incredibly early, doesn’t it?
But then again, maybe it doesn’t. After all, we grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons. Alvin and the Chipmunks was on at 7 in the morning. Then we’d pretty much watch the entire block that included Super Mario Bros. 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Captain N: The Game Master. Then we’d get our T-NBC shows such as Saved By The Bell (ALWAYS worth watching) then, years later, California Dreams, City Guys, and Hang Time. That morning would be wrapped up by NBA Inside Stuff. So really, waking up for an NBA game at 7 A.M. shouldn’t be a problem if we really wanted to watch it.
You can watch the entire Silver interview here.
Adam Silver image courtesy of Getty Images