The NBA's TV ratings are down this season.
Silver on Today:
There is no single reason ratings are down. As Silver also said, people - especially young people - watch less television through conventional methods.
Of course, the league still wants to maximize viewers in this new media landscape.
Determining start times is a delicate balance between appeasing home fans, road fans and a national audience. There's no easy answer.
But this is why I'm against seeding the playoffs 1-16. That'd create more inter-time-zone games, not just in the playoffs but also in the regular season. The whole point of 1-16 seeding is increasing fairness in competition, which would be achieved only through balancing the regular-season schedule. Right now, teams play 52 games against their own conference and 30 against the other conference. A balanced schedule would mean more East Coast teams with late-starting games out West and more West Coast teams with early-starting games out East. That doesn't serve fans of those teams.
So, the league should avoid those cross-time-zone games as much as reasonably possible.
Yet, some must still occur. The NBA is also trying to appeal to a national audience. So, every game has a cross-time-zone element.
People are concentrated in the Eastern time zone. That's also where 13 of 30 NBA teams are located. And the league office.
No wonder people out West are the ones who might have to adjust.