Wednesday December 6, 2023

As NBA Tries To Improve Its Product, Silver Admits All-Star Game Is Broken

  • The NBA All-Star Game saw record-low viewership in 2023.
  • The league is approaching negotiations for its next set of media rights deals.
LeBron James slams ball during the lowest rated NBA-All Star Game.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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The NBA has a clear goal this season: tying up all its loose ends before negotiations for its next set of media rights officially begin in Spring 2024.

Hoping to maximize value for broadcast partners to bring in what could be as much as $75 billion with new contracts, the league has already begun to crack down on load-management issues and just launched the inaugural in-season tournament.

Next on the agenda appears to be shoring up the NBA All-Star Game, which drew a record-low number of viewers earlier this year on TNT and TBS with an audience of 4.59 million. 

The league has already announced that the game will return to its classic East-West format with four 12-minute quarters. Recent years had seen team captains draft players and the games ending with a target score in the fourth quarter.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is taking responsibility for the declining interest in the All-Star Game, citing too much fanfare around introductions and halftime performances, and not enough focus on the product. “We’re sending mixed signals,” he told ESPN. “And if we want guys to treat this like a real game … we have to treat it that way.”

At February’s All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, Saturday’s festivities will be held at the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium, while Sunday’s game will take place at the Pacers’ Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Bay Area will host the 2025 All-Star Weekend.

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