According to ESPN, the NBA is now full steam ahead for a Christmas Day launch to the 2020-21 season, a major step in the right direction. It ditches the boring Halloween portion of the season, which should draw more interest. However, it provides an offseason of only 70-some days for NBA Finals participants, which could become a concern.
The push for a Christmas Day start to the 2020-21 NBA season, which would naturally please the league’s TV partners, is gaining momentum, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 23, 2020
The reasons why a Christmas launch is a superior in every way imaginable are obvious. The NBA needs a primetime launch date to make up for losses during the COVID season. Firing up the 2020-21 season on a day when everyone should be home and in front of their TV is smart.
Some speculated that the league would push opening night deep into next year when fans will likely be able to attend games. It’s understandable that the NBA wants some certainty in terms of revenue, but they should try to control too much. Ratings are down, and they need to find a solution.
Lakers/Clippers opening night on Christmas Day could heal some of the damage the NBA has done in alienating viewers. NBA leadership turned off a large part of their base through political pandering, so they have to swallow their pride and make some attempts to accommodate ambivalent fans. Starting games on Christmas is a good start.
Nothing is set in stone, but it looks like the league wants to give its faithful a Christmas gift: an early start to the 2020-2021 NBA season. It’s too early to know how fans will react to the news, but we’ll be sure to give an update.