NBA could change start date to December
The NBA is searching for new ways to draw fans and grow interest in the Association early in the season. The basketball season is often ignored when the NBA begins in October and it isn't until Christmas that fans really begin paying attention to it. The NBA Playoffs will tip off in April with the best teams in the Association competing for the championship. Basketball fans can visit Elite 8 betting in 2020 for the latest bonuses and tips before wagering on the finals.
In a search to grow fan interest pre-Christmas, the NBA is open to new ideas to get fans into the arenas and watching on television. Low television ratings in the early months have caused worry amongst the NBA's front office and team executives. A cup knockout tournament similar to what is seen in Europe in both soccer and basketball has been proposed for October and November. But a cup tournament isn't the only proposal the NBA has on its list of ideas to increase fan interest.
Shifting the NBA season
Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin has proposed the NBA begin its regular season in December. According to CBS Sports, the NBA is “open to the idea”. However, rather than making the NBA season shorter, it would just be pushed back with the finals taking place in August. The new proposed NBA season would run from mid-December to August. Rather than compete with the NFL for television ratings, the NBA would tip off as the football league’s regular season comes to an end. The basketball league would then battle Major League Baseball, the NHL playoffs, Major League Soccer, and possibly, the XFL for television ratings in the spring and summer. Of course, there are golf, tennis, and the WNBA to contend with as well.
Shifting the NBA schedule is major decision. The NBA will discuss the idea for some time and research the viability of such a radical move. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has shown he isn't afraid to consider a number of ideas to alter the league's season. So far, the commissioner and his brain trust have considered a cup tournament and shortening the regular season.
The power of the NFL
The NBA wouldn't be the first sports league to alter its schedule to avoid the NFL. The PGA Tour shifted its four major events around in 2019. The shift saw the PGA Championship move from August to May to prevent it from clashing with the NFL preseason and start of the regular season.
Executives around the NBA are hungry to gain television ratings which is driving the current suggestions of altering the regular season. According to Koonin, the league needs to move away from competition such as the NFL to increase its ratings. The big problem with this idea is that the NBA isn't addressing the issues preventing fans from watching on television.
Ratings are down in the early part of the season due to games having little value to viewers. The 82-game season means fans do not have to care about the Association until Christmas time or even closer to the start of the playoffs. If the NBA really wants to reconnect with fans on television it needs to reduce the number of games during the regular season and make the league must-see TV.