Finally, June is here. Warm weather, cooking outside, and falling asleep to the NHL & NBA Finals.
Side note: Can we get together on NHL “Final” & NBA “Finals”? No one cares what they called it in the beginning. Now we watch them on magic boxes with moving pictures.
Back to the issue at hand. Five NBA Finals games start at 9:00pm EST and two (Sundays) start at 8:00pm EST. That’s when they are scheduled, not the actual tip-off. And let’s pray their isn’t a good game that goes into OT. That’s insanity; 9:00pm on weeknights. To their credit, the NHL makes an effort to start all their games at 8:00pm. Which is certainly appreciated.
However, the coast that matters would like to be able to stay awake for the most important parts of these games. Networks take the west coast way too seriously when considering start times. Take it from someone who has lived on both coasts, California doesn’t care. It wouldn’t matter if you started the game at 1:00 in the afternoon. Work comes to stop and everyone leaves to go watch the game. Life before living is their motto. (Example: No California NFL fan has ever missed the start of their teams Monday or Thursday night game.)
That being said, it’s about time networks cater to the east. You know, the center of the worlds economy. The NBA still thinks east coast professionals will sacrifice their work day morning to watch the Cavs get their doors blown off. Yeah, okay. Ever since the invention of SportsCenter, everyone with a 9 to 5 has said, “I’ll catch the highlight in the morning”. Also, you guys are aware of smart phones and the internet, right? And whatever happened to the late afternoon weekend game?
Originally, I wasn’t going to bring the kids bed time argument into this because that’s too obvious. But, let’s point out that not allowing kids to see the championship of your sport is not the best long term business move. I’m talking to you too MLB.
There’s one more thing. A seven game series taking almost the entire month of June to play out. The NBA catches a lot of heat for this and rightfully so. But, the NHL is no better. Both leagues stretch the schedule out to hit two weekends of coverage. From the day after each match-up is set to the the seventh game, it will take 24 and 22 days for the NBA and NHL series to play out. Each game get’s an average of 3 days of separation, regardless of travel. Good thing Lebron and the rest of the stars take games off in February to rest up. *Lebron is #1 in minutes played per game, 37.8. That’s some good coaching. Full List…
In the end, we’re all aware it’s about maximizing profits. But, don’t shoot the horse M.J. rode you in on.