Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin joined the conversation about the NBA’s potential schedule changes, suggesting that pushing the start of NBA season back to December would increase ratings.
Koonin made this suggestion at a panel during the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston on Friday.
This plan in action would involve delaying the start of the NBA season from mid-October to mid-December. The reasoning behind this change is to avoid conflicting with the end of the NFL’s regular season.
“Relevance equals revenue,” Koonin said, per ESPN. “We’ve got to create the most relevance, and the revenue will fix itself.”
On the other end of the season, Koonin’s idea would mean that the NBA Finals would move from June to August.
This plan would allow the NBA to maximize summer viewership by only competing with the MLB.
“A big piece is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to enhance ratings,” Koonin said. “Sometimes, moving away from competition is a great way to grow ratings.”
The NBA’s senior vice president of strategy and analytics Evan Wasch is one of many people with a say in the manner to have expressed that he is at least open to the possibility.
However, there are restraints to the timeline of this change, specifically the fact that the collective bargaining agreement and the league’s broadcast rights are not set to expire for a few more years.
In the meantime, Koonin stands firm on his proposed schedule adjustment.
“Let football have its time,” Koonin said. “Let’s have our time, and let’s go after it.”
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