Permanent shift to NBA calendar unlikely, Silver says

NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a press conference during NBA All-Star Saturday Night. Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

A season calendar that runs from March through October is probably not something the NBA will consider despite some recent talk.

With the league struggling in the TV ratings department, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters the league is “learning more about our television audience” and that “fewer people are watching in the summer.”

Television viewership is typically down in August regardless of programming, and the NBA was not immune.

According to several reports, viewership for the first-round of this year’s playoffs — held in August — was down 27 percent from last season and 40 percent from 2018-19. While ratings improved for the second round and conference finals, those rounds were also down considerably from recent seasons.

As for the potential shift in the calendar, an internal document obtained by the Morning Consult offered four 2020-21 scheduling scenarios, including one in which the NBA “would push the start of next season back to March if there is a path to a coronavirus vaccine or therapeutic treatment,” that would allow teams to have fans in home arenas, per the report.

Silver reiterated Monday that the NBA is targeting January as the starting month for the 2020-21 season.

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About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for OutKick, Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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