Adam Silver Says WNBA Could Shift Schedule Away From Summer
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the WNBA could "shift" from its current schedule that runs from May-August to a "natural basketball season" in the fall and winter. Silver, appearing on ESPN Friday morning, noted there are "a lot of empty seats" at WNBA games and said it has been "harder to get people to come to the games maybe because they are in the summer." He said he is "particularly frustrated that we have been unable to get young women, girls to attend those games." Silver said WNBA ratings "have been decent on ESPN" and noted women's basketball is "largely supported in terms of demographics by older men for whatever reason who like fundamental basketball." Silver said the league is "not connecting" with the same demographic that its players are, which is "roughly 21-34." He said the WNBA will become more profitable "by growing the business." He noted the WNBA has a "number of teams losing money" and said league execs "haven't figured out a winning formula." Silver: "It’s amazing where the league is now from where it was 20 years ago when it launched, but we still have a marketing problem and we have to figure out. We have to figure out how to do a better job connecting to young people and get them interested in women's basketball” (“Get Up!,” ESPN, 4/20).