How will the new basketball Serie A be

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How will the new basketball Serie A be

How will the new basketball Serie A be

Serie A 2020-21: number of teams, Italian and foreign players, format

Football tries to continue the season and if it does it is purely for reasons related to television broadcasting contracts for the product that, if not cashed, would blow up the system. Other sports such as basketball, which have their main revenues from ticket sales, have long since closed their shops and try to imagine what the new season will be like. Not necessarily similar to what we saw until March at all levels, from the number of teams to the number of Italians and foreigners on the roster. Lega and Fip confront each other on these and other themes and if certainties do not yet exist, it is already possible today to outline some hypotheses on the season of the Serie A 2020-21.

Football tries to continue the season and if it does it is purely for reasons related to television broadcasting contracts for the product that, if not cashed, would blow up the system. Other sports such as basketball, which have their main revenues from ticket sales, have long since closed their shops and try to imagine what the new season will be like. Not necessarily similar to what we saw until March at all levels, from the number of teams to the number of Italians and foreigners on the roster. Lega and Fip confront each other on these and other themes and if certainties do not yet exist, it is already possible today to outline some hypotheses on the season of the Serie A 2020-21.

Number of teams

It is the biggest unknown. By effectively blocking promotions and relegations, the initial hypothesis of a 20-team championship divided into two geographic conferences such as the LNP was in fact rejected before it even started to be discussed because it is enough to count how many professional companies disappear every year they either go into crisis or don’t have the means to complete the season to make it impractical.

The orientation is therefore to have a Serie A with an equal number of teams, unlike the 2019-20 in which a team rested every week in turn. President Gandini hypothesized a tournament with 18 teams, or the 17 already present in Serie A this season plus an eighteenth to be promoted by A2. The criteria for the choice will revolve around the company’s economic solidity, capacity of the system, history and position in the standings at the time of the interruption of the championship. But even this scenario risks not being realistic because due to the crisis many Serie A teams may not have the means to play in the top league and in fact the FIP will allow those who request it to lean back in LNP, as Virtus Roma did in 2015. It is therefore possible that the championship may drop to 16 if not 14 teams. Which is not necessarily bad news, because hypothetically a lower number of roster should increase the technical quality of the same, or solve one of the problems of Italian basketball in recent years. That of a very often very low level.

Players

This in a normal world, what we knew until yesterday. Tomorrow’s will present low liquidity and low economic attractiveness of certain leagues compared to others. Not only for technical criteria, but also for logistics and health.

Many Americans came to play in Italy with the prospect of earning more money than local leagues lower than the NBA like the G League. Now that economic gap could be leveled and with the same engagement, or with the prospect of earning less but not much less, an American could decide to stay in the United States rather than attempting the European adventure.

Speech that could be extended to health. If some nations proved to be safer in the management of infections, if they were perceived as priority destinations where to play without the risk of getting sick, the choice could be made with these criteria. So we may have a situation in which accessing foreign, not necessarily American, players of a good standard could become more difficult. At that point, the value of Italian players on the market would also have a turning point. Petrucci’s Fip has always fought to give the Italians more minutes and responsibilities on the pitch with the prospect of making the national team more competitive, but has never achieved this result and indeed has obtained the opposite effect of making Italians a more valuable commodity from an economic point of view but not from a technical one. If the formula of 5 + 5 or 6 + 6 is revised, if foreigners become less accessible, it is likely that the market value of Italian players will also drop.

If they are used almost exclusively to them, there is no reason to pay them more than foreigners who will not be accessible. And if there is no money, no Italian player will be able to assert his passport in the negotiation phase because a company must put it by regulation in the roster. The consequences would be mainly two. The first, more immediate, is to impoverish even more technically a championship that was already poor. The second, in perspective, is that more Italians on the pitch and with high-level responsibilities could generate a new generation of more competitive and prepared players.

Format Basket Serie A 2020-21

The main problem with Italian basketball is that without an audience there is no income. The main problem with coronavirus is that in order to be fought it needs social distancing. For this reason, basketball experiences a situation opposed to that of football, which requires a lawn and a few cameras to assemble a game and broadcast it on television to survive. The companies have already expressed their willingness not to continue this season behind closed doors, but there is no guarantee that in October they will be able to resume playing in front of the public.

We will try to move the start of the new season forward, in January in the most extreme hypothesis. But we cannot go much further because the calendar, between Serie A and cups, would become unmanageable. The League will try to find reliable partners for the transmission of the matches and is talking to Sky, Eurosport, Rai, Dazn and Mediaset to understand what margins exist in search of a new more profitable contract but lasting one year given the emergency situation. The starting situation of Italian basketball is strongly penalized by the fact that a sport already on the margins of the mainstream sport on all media will experience an absence of visibility, a real black hole, until the moment of restart. The lever on which to force the League is this. If we have to play behind closed doors, the fans who previously came to the hall will stand in front of the television to watch the games and the palatability in the eyes of the broadcasters would increase. Whenever you start again, there will be a strong desire for sports across the country. It is possible that not a giant like Sky but some broadcasters with less firepower want to invest in minor sports.

But the point is how much. It is said that the needs of the companies from the point of view of the management costs of an entire season are compatible with what an issuer is willing to invest to transmit it. On the one hand, investing in basketball has more affordable costs than football and this will be even more true in the next season, on the other hand, each issuer will have to deal with the economic crisis and may not have enough liquidity to put on the plate a figure that allow the League to survive by playing a few months or the whole season without an audience.

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