Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 12:10 pm  |  20 responses

David Stern Says NBA May Alter Start of Games for International Audiences

With the NBA on a never-ending mission to expand internationally, commissioner David Stern says the League is gonna have to think of altering the start of some games to accommodate the growing audiences overseas. Per SI: “This year, the NBA is playing preseason games in Beijing and Shanghai, while the international regular season games are set for Mexico City and London. Although deputy commissioner Adam Silver said that travel time issues made it difficult to schedule regular season games in China, Stern floated a possible compromise: if the games can’t be brought to China, they could at least be played at a more China-friendly hour. ‘Interestingly, there’s an intermediate step that Yao (Ming) raised earlier with me, and that is the question of whether the NBA would consider modifying some of the start times of its games so that they would be more accessible to international audiences at a more convenient time for them to watch,’ Stern said. ‘And I think that the NBA is going to have to wrestle over the next decade as more and more of our viewing audience is outside the United States, is what’s the best time for games to be played so that those fans can enjoy them live as opposed to having to get up in China and watch an NBA game at 7 in the morning. And I think that’s a fun problem that we’re going to be addressing because so much viewing is happening outside the United States now.’ As it stands, a game that tips off at 7 p.m. in New York City begins at 7 a.m. in Beijing. Even west coast games that tip at 10 p.m. ET start at 10 a.m. in China, which isn’t exactly prime time for vegging out on the couch with a cold one to take in some hoops. The league’s holiday slates aren’t that much more convenient. The start times for this year’s quintuple-header on Christmas will run from 12 p.m. ET to 10:30 p.m. ET. That’s midnight to 10:30 a.m. in Beijing. There’s no realistic way for Chinese fans — especially younger ones — to catch more than a few of those games, and it’s understandable why Stern and Silver might see this as a tremendous lost opportunity.”

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  • Dundler

    Hurray for us. I have no sympathy for China though, I’d rather the games start at 7AM than 3AM like they do here

  • LLC#12

    It makes sense. Of global NBA fans, I wouldn’t be surprised if Americans were a minority nowadays. I think I read recently that China alone has like 300,000,000 registered basketball players. Only like 20,000,000 less than the entire population of the US.
    I guess it would only be weekend games though. Changing the timings of weeknight games wouldn’t sit well with players/season ticket holders, but in the weekend, moving a game from 7pm to 12pm isn’t much of a big deal.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Um… Don’t people have work that early in the morning? I mean, could work for weekends but…come on…

  • spit hot fiyah

    it says as it stands, meaning that they would into changing these times

  • spit hot fiyah

    haha for real, i used to sit up for those red eye games back when i was young. used to come home from my friends place at like 6 in the morning after watching some garbage Detroit vs phoenix game in the middle of january. the life of a young hoops junkie

    these days i just download and watch it the next day

  • i_ball

    I think the Sunday games on ESPN are enough for Europe. What the NBA can do is sell some kind of NBA TV/League pass package with games that are suitable for Europe/China/Australia. Now it doesn’t makes sense to buy League pass outside of the Americas as you can’t possibly stay up every night to watch

  • Chris6

    Sunday games are great for the fans in Europe (like me..). Of course there is a little too much raptors for my taste!of course i would love to watch more games at the weekends!i think that china is a little out of reach because of the time difference but Europe is totally feasible.make it happen new commissioner!!

  • Jim Jaraldo

    I know in Europe Sunday is good for us but I want NBA EVERYDAY. So NBA make that happen for the fans in Europe. Sincerely the number 1 fan of the NBA. Knicks and Clippers in the finals. Knicks in 5. Melo Finals MVP.

  • Chief Keef


  • KBM

    spit i dont know if it’s proper message board etiquette, but may i ask where you get these games from?


  • Clos1881

    International Stern I really don’t see how that’s gonna be possible let them enjoy a nice tapped delay with a cold one.

  • Clos1881

    League pass replays games all day up until like 4est time that should be good for them as well

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    In this global village, the NBA needs to capitalize on its popularity.

  • Jay Brodes

    while this may sound fair…i do not want 4pm games during the week..US fans should not be penalized. most of us work..i work 12 hour days..sorry!

  • Chris6

    There are 82 games for each team so i’m pretty sure nba will figure something out to please its international fans. Let’s be honest the US fans are not so interested in regular season games as much as the fans from the rest of the world who are not used to having an nba game (or more) on their tv every night.

  • spit hot fiyah

    bt.davka.info has some, but not a lot. sport-scene is the best but u need an invite

  • i_ball

    If the game is not live you might as well download it from somewhere without paying like $200

  • danpowers

    yyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!! those nba seasons really have a negative impact on my performance at work because of that f*cking time shift. a handfull of games starting some hours earlier would be really great

  • danpowers

    didnt we all learn in kindergarten to share our toys with the other kids? lol

  • danpowers

    true. i am spending alot of money on the international league pass. its even a pain in the a*s to watch a game live as all game breaks are covered by a black screen and sometimes clips that repeat over and over and over again. if you watch games the next day all gamebreaks are removed from the recording. but still, nothing compares to the feeling to watch a game live.