Friday, June 6, 2008

Quick Rant: Starting Times

The major sporting events are getting missed by many people in the United States, and it all has to do with the time zones.

For the most part, in order for the West Coast to view a sporting event during the week, the game must start after 6 p.m. Pacific Time. Unfortunately, for those on the East Coast this means all games (without going into overtime, or extra innings) are finishing around or after midnight.
This is hurting not only the working class, who must in fact get up for work in the morning and cannot stay up to finish a game that late, but it is also hurting the sport itself, because millions of children are not watching your product.

There is an easy fix for this, but for some reason it has not been looked into. The reason for the later starts is so that all those wishing to watch the game on the West Coast can get home after work before the start of the game. Well, my main question is, are you more inclined to watch a sporting event you know you can't see the end of? Or, are you more inclined to join a game in progress, that you know you will be able to finish?

I think the answer is pretty obvious.

But, this is not what is being done. Last night's NBA Finals Game against the storied Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers didn't even get started until after 9 p.m. Eastern Time, and was just heading into halftime just after 10:30 p.m.

The NBA isn't the only sport that is making it difficult for East Coast fans to watch major sporting events, or for children to catch something that might stay with them forever. Major League Baseball is possibly the worst at it. Because of their starting times, and the excruciating length of their games, there isn't many on the East Coast who are able watch the World Series. Let alone seven games if the series goes that long.

The NHL appeared to have gotten it somewhat right. But, that may be because both teams in the Stanley Cup Finals were relatively close to the East Coast. With Detroit and Pittsburgh in the Finals, most games started around 8 p.m. Eastern Time - so for a three hour contest, it's getting over at a more reasonable 11 p.m. instead of pushing well past midnight.

I doubt anyone with any real influence is reading this, but if there is any chance there is please take this into consideration. I am an NBA fan, and my son will probably be an NBA fan (if I am lucky) - I, in the future, would like to watch at least one NBA Finals game to it's conclusion without having to slug through the next day at work thanks to being overly tired.

In the days of DVRs, I am sure if a West Coaster wants to see the beginning of the game they will record the game and easily be able to catch up. What with all of the television commercials (but that is another story).

1 comment:

  1. But for people on the west coast, a game that begins at say 6 on the east coast means that they potentially are missing entire games. Not even the start, middle, or end of the game considering, if you will, traffic times means a lot of people over here aren't getting in until 6 pacific or later.

    And then there's the consideration that many working class people who support the professional sports game industry can't afford DVRs making them rely on things like VCR tapes which now seem like such a hassle and I'm sure would be in particular for a sports game.

    I don't think there's a real answer for this, obviously it's frustrating to miss the end of the game given that's what you're waiting to find out, the end score, but in a nation this large starting at one time that would favor east coast viewers might not be the best choice. I'm not a sports watcher at all, but I'm guessing there's probably an even spread of games played in each time zone across the country meaning no one is fully favored.

    If cute Kasey decides not to like sports, you can always send him to visit me. We'll paint and write poetry or he can do some computer assembly craziness with Jar. And if I have a kid who's into NBA, I'll make sure he visits you. :)