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NBA reportedly aiming for 70-game season to appease regional networks

The NBA continues to explore every potential contingency available to the league for if and when the regular season resumes. Should the league decide to play an abbreviated finish to the 2019-20 campaign, the belief is that a 70-game threshold would be the ideal and preferred minimum.

On his “The Hoop Collective” podcast posted Monday, Brian Windhorst explored how the league may approach a resumption of the season once the hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. Essentially, the league would like to see at least a 70-game season in order to appease the myriad regional networks that broadcast NBA games in local markets.

“What they would love to do is to get to 70 games,” Windhorst said. “And the reason 70 is a key number is because that is what the deliverable is to the regional sports networks. They are promised 70 games.

“Now, just because a team like the Lakers, for example, to get to 70 games … they wouldn’t necessarily be able to deliver on that because they’ve had a lot of national games, but getting to 70 would be helpful in retaining revenue because they wouldn’t have to refund some to the local TV.”

With every NBA team having played between 64 and 67 games, to resume the season and reach the 70-game threshold would not be overly onerous in theory.

That being said, there are obviously significant logistical issues inherent to such a setup, including how to go about setting up a schedule and which teams would play one another. Any exploration of such a resolution obviously leaves the NBA confronted with many complex issues to navigate.

The NBA certainly will not rush to make any definitive determination on how to go forward given how much uncertainty obviously still exists far beyond the world of sports amid the coronavirus pandemic. Further, the league will have to abide by ongoing and potentially evolving governmental directives, edicts and advisories.

In other words, it will be some time before any concrete plans are put in place regarding how the league may choose to move forward amid these unsettling times.