A Major Change in the NBA Schedule Could Boost Ratings

Erik Gee

It's cliche', but the only constant is change. Over the past two weeks, change has been the only thing on which we can count. 

Every five minutes (or so it seems), we hear something new about how COVID-19 is impacting our lives. Things are so out of whack right now that most of us might pay good money just to spend two hours in Costco for a chance to get out of the house. 

 During trying times, there is always an opportunity for someone to step up and institute a new way of doing things. Intro Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin. 

Early this month, Koonin told a panel at the  MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston about his Idea that would radically shift the NBA schedule. Under Koonin's proposal, the season would start in mid-December to avoid the college and NFL's regular seasons. 

The finals would be played in August with free-agency taking place in September. The plan is flat out brilliant. Koonin says, "A big piece is you don't have to reinvent the wheel to enhance ratings." 

 "Sometimes, moving away from the competition is a great way to grow ratings." Not only are you avoiding going head to head with football during its prime time, but you're also stealing MLB's thunder during pennate races and you would still own Christmas day. 

Koonin's plan should be implemented yesterday. Now out of necessity because of a league-wide shutdown, owners may get to see Koonin's Idea play out. 

Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix is reporting that owners want to finish this season even if the finals are played in September.  If the finals get played that late, it's hard to look into the crystal ball and see training camp getting underway by early October. 

The NBA may be forced to start the 2020-2021 season on Koonin's timeline. Evan Wasch, the NBA's senior vice president of strategy and analytics and Mark Cuban, are both on board with this plan. 

The players would also be in favor of playing in the Summer if it means a boost in revenue, which means more money for them. As far as viewing habits go, the NBA is banking on hotter weather, keeping you inside, and because you're watching more on devices that not a traditional television, you can be on the move without missing a game. 

It will take a  while to get us to the point where a schedule change can happen, but it feels like we are already there. 

What Do You Think?

Do you want to see a significant schedule change in the NBA?