LONDON – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by the Sports Xchange) – The NBA is studying ways to accelerate the end of games to hold its audience, specifically the younger generation. NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the issue during a news conference Thursday in London before the Denver Nuggets beat the Indiana Pacers 140-112 at O2 Arena, saying the league has been conducting a review for the past year that will continue after the current season.
One of the focuses is the number of timeouts in the final two minutes of games.
“When the last few minutes of the game take an extraordinary amount of time, sometimes it’s incredibly interesting for fans, other times it’s not,” Silver said. “We are going to take a fresh look at the format, specifically in the last two minutes.”
Silver stressed the importance of keeping young fans engaged.
“It’s something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game,” Silver said. “Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we need to pay attention to.”
Any changes to shorten the length of games would go through the league’s competition committee for review and then to the board of owners.
“It’s something that we track very closely,” Silver said. “In the league office, we (track) every game, we know exactly how much time each possession takes and, again, we can also look at minute-by-minute ratings, so we know at what point fans are potentially tuning out as well.”
Silver also touched upon the possibility of more regular-season NBA games being played outside the United States.
“We hope to increase the number of international games that we play,” Silver said. “We don’t have any specific plans in place yet.
It’s a function of the quality of the arenas and the amount of interest in those markets.”
In addition to the Nuggets-Pacers game in England, the Phoenix Suns are playing two games in Mexico City this week, against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday and against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.