NBA commissioner Adam Silver is just saying what many already think – ESPN covers the Lakers a lot.
OK, to be clear he was joking when he said this, but he did point out the channel’s coverage of LeBron James and the Lakers on Yahoo Sports’ “Posted Up” with Chris Haynes this week.
“They have their own channel, it’s called ESPN,” Silver said, as Haynes couldn’t contain his laughter. “I’ve been watching for the last few days, I’ve had it on in my office and it’s round the clock.”
ESPN has been all over the Lakers in recent days, but it is for good reason. The company’s website posted a great piece by Baxter Holmes detailing turmoil in the organization and the channel was diligent in covering it from all angles.
So it’s understandable why ESPN would have “round-the-clock” coverage of the team in the last few weeks.
But while Silver was joking about the Lakers having ESPN as their own channel, he also addressed a more serious topic – the fact NBA ratings took a dip when James went to the Lakers and the Pacific time zone.
This has made Silver rethink some things programming-wise for his league. He brought up the possibility of moving up West Coast games to help the ratings.
“When our games that start in the east at 10:30 at night, like, there’s a lot of people, you can tell directly again from the Nielsen data that roughly 11:15, 11:30 a large group of television households just turn off the sets because they need to go to bed for work the next day,” Silver said. “And so I think one of the things we’re looking at for next season is maybe – right now we play at 8 and 10:30 … in the east … should we play at 7 and 9:30 possibly?
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“Just so for those exciting West Coast games we can hold the fans in the east a little bit longer, but I get it, it’s a trade off because people watching this in the west are saying, ‘Well, I’m still at work when you’d be starting the early games,’ so at the end of the day we’ve got to pay attention to where the audience is and when we play when we do to reach the largest number of people.”