Because the NBA Popularity Is “Not” Growing.
There is an old saying, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. From all indicators, the National Basketball Association ain’t broke. The league has labor peace, there is a multibillion dollar long term cable TV deal in place and it appears most franchises are doing well. So what is the problem? If you listen to Commissioner Adam Silver, changes have to come but nothing is imminent because of the time that remains on the collective bargaining agreement and the TV deal. But Silver envisions a few changes. Cutting back on the schedule and maybe shortening games from the present 48 minutes. There may be in season tournaments featuring NBA players in Europe or Asia. It seems as if Silver and the 30 NBA owners are talking about the future and keeping people interested in the product. The NBA has already embraced gambling as a way of casual fans or gamblers gaining more interested in the product.
Silver admits this would be a radical change in the American and Canadian fan’s way of thinking because in season tournaments are not part of the established major league sports concept and players would have to buy into the new thinking. Cutting games means cutting salaries which won’t fly with the players. Also in season tournaments could cheapen the NBA playoffs. Other problems that Silver and the owners could face are arena leases. Is there a regular season minimum of games that a team has to play in a municipally owned arena? Would regional cable TV partners agree to pay the same amount of money for less programming? Vendors, parking lot attendants and businesses around an arena might not be happy. Municipalities dole out money to build an arena with the hope of creating businesses in a zone. There is a long way to go before the NBA will fix what ain’t broke.