NBA Hoping For 70-Game Season In Order To Deliver To RSNs
While uncertainty reigns across the globe because of the novel coronavirus, the NBA is hoping it to play at least a portion of the regular season and ensuing playoffs for financial reasons, according to ESPN insider Brian Windhorst (via RealGM).
"What they would love to do is to get to 70 games," Windhorst said on his podcast. "And the reason is it's 70 is a key number is because that is what the deliverable is to the regional sports networks. They are promised 70 games."
Most teams had played in the neighborhood of 65 games at the time of last week's decision to suspend the schedule.
"Now, just because a team like the Lakers, for example, to get to 70 games ... they wouldn't necessarily be able to deliver on that because they've had a lot of national games," Windhorst said. "But getting to 70 would be helpful in retaining revenue because they wouldn't have to refund some to the local TV."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver indicated last week that play will be stopped until at least April 10, after which time the league is expected to revisit the situation.
In the meantime, the league is expected to deliver some dire financial news to team owners, with the league reportedly set to lose around $500 million if the season is canceled entirely.
"The financial cost is a big reason there is the expectation, according to sources, that the current season will resume at a later date, even if that means the 2020-21 season starts later than expected," ESPN front-office insider Bobby Marks reported.
Sam Amico covers the NBA and Cleveland Cavaliers for SI.com. Follow him @AmicoHoops.