The Olympic games are officially postponed to 2021. After today’s announcement, several articles appeared on the network saying that the best players in the League will not go to the Olympics anymore. How and why, and what such a transfer can actually lead to – we will figure it out together.
Periodically, there are rumors that the NBA wants to postpone the start of the season to a later date in order to break up with the NHL and not compete for a spectator during the playoffs. What can I tell you, I found statistics for 2019: 17-19 million people watched the NBA finals. The seventh game of the Stanley Cup Final was watched by less than 9 million, the 38th most watched sporting event of the year. To get your bearings: the sixth game of GSV and the rockets was watched by almost 8 million, and it wasn’t even the conference final. Even Wikipedia has basic ratings for the NBA and NHL finals.
The second point: American viewers who called hockey their favorite sport mentioned the NBA only 18% of the time. There is no competition with hockey.
Therefore, do not believe the words coming from the League office. The NBA wants to move away from football with all its might. The NFL dominates both the TV and media space in America: the top 10 events by number of viewers are NFL playoff games, with last year’s super bowl leading the way with 100 million viewers. And this is not the recent “fiery” comeback of Mahomes, it is boring for the casual viewer last year, which ended with a score of 13:3.
The difference from the 19 million viewers of the last game of the NBA Finals was estimated?
Therefore, the start of the championship discussed in the media at Christmas is intended to move away from the NFL regular season, “warm up” during the football playoffs and take all the media attention in the summer, when the games will be played “on the fly”. If you move the current schedule by 2 months, you will understand what dates the NBA supposedly marks with its season: from December 25 to mid-June, and the playoffs until mid-August.
In addition, the owners can not let their best players go to national team matches. Everyone remembers the injuries of basketball players at training camp (Paul George with his broken leg-as the brightest), so no one wants to lose their stars because of optional performances “for patriotism”. I can understand the owners: their income depends directly on the health of their stars (ask Bob Myers), so there will be no objection from this side. In theory, the players might be outraged, but why? They see a situation with insufficient recovery, experienced people do not want to bring down their annual training cycle for the sake of 6-7 matches far away – their brand with the help of the NBA sells well without such advertising events, personal trips to meetings with fans, in their opinion, can compensate for the rest.
What could have stopped it? Money. In summer, the TV audience is noticeably smaller. Given that the League still typically focuses on TV agreements that generate most of their basketball-related revenue, there’s kind of something to fear. And here I will step on the thin ice of guesses, which, however, have certain grounds for themselves.
The NBA has been the engine of innovation in American sports for many years. Even if she wasn’t the first to invent it, she was the first to implement it. So don’t be surprised when we hear about a contract to show matches with some Internet giant. This is not a fantasy, this is not such a distant future.