With NBA television ratings dipping this season, commissioner Adam Silver says he's open to scheduling changes - including moving up West Coast games from their typical 7:30 p.m. PT (10:30 p.m. ET) tipoffs.
"Fifty percent of television households in this country are in the Eastern time zone," Silver told Craig Melvin of "Today." "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."
Silver acknowledged that a change could inconvenience spectators and TV viewers in the Pacific time zone. However, he added that finding the right national balance is important.
"It would obviously be less convenient to those fans on the West Coast if we played even earlier," he said. "... 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."
Silver also conceded that LeBron James' relocation from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers - and his subsequent absence from this spring's playoffs - affected ratings, which were down across the NBA in the first round of the postseason.
"Face it, LeBron is one of the biggest stars in the world, and he also played in the East," Silver said. "... Not having LeBron in the playoffs, not having him in the East, has clearly impacted ratings."