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The Playoffs, and the East, Miss LeBron James

In a season where NBA ratings have declined, Adam Silver has pointed towards LeBron James as one reason why.

Last Summer, LeBron James moved from the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East to the Los Angeles Lakers in the West.

“Face it, LeBron is one of the biggest stars in the world, and he also played in the East,” Silver said.

“And so, the reason I look a little bit tired is a lot of our games are in the West, and it’s late at night. I recognize most people choose to go to sleep at a reasonable time. And so, from a rating standpoint, not having LeBron in the playoffs, not having him in the East, has clearly impacted ratings.”


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While that is the sheer impact of LeBron, Adam Silver outlined some more manageable changes that could improve ratings. According to Adam Silver, the NBA is examining the possibility of playing West Coast games a little earlier.

“Fifty percent of television households in this country are in the Eastern time zone,” Silver said.


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“And so if your West Coast games start at 10:30 at night in the East, you’re invariably going to lose a lot of viewers around 11, 11:30. I mean, you can just chart it. You see how many television households turn off around 11:15, 11:30 at night, just because people have to get up for work in the morning.

“I mean, it is something we can address. We’re talking about it. I mean, it would obviously be less convenient to those fans on the West Coast if we played even earlier. I mean, just think about people getting to those arenas after work if you start a game at 6 p.m. local time in the West. It’s not the most convenient thing. It’s not as convenient for a television watcher on the West Coast, either. But when you look at the league from a national standpoint, it may make sense to play a little bit earlier in the West. And that’s something we’re going to talk to our teams about this summer.”

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