ABC Gets New NBA Broadcast In 2016

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2014 – 2015 NBA season is officially wrapped. The NBA Draft presented by State Farm is done. But that doesn’t mean that things have cooled down in the NBA.

ESPN President John Skipper announced alongside Disney/ABC TV President Ben Sherwood today that the ESPN networks will expand their NBA coverage in the New Year. The pair announced that beginning Saturday, January 23rd, ESPN on ABC will present a new Saturday night NBA broadcast. Dubbed Saturday Night NBA on ABC, the broadcast will run for a total of eight games on ABC. Tipoff for each game on the schedule is expected for 8:30pm. NBA Countdown will precede each week’s telecast at 8pm ET. Sherwood was ecstatic in announcing ABC’s partnership with ESPN for the broadcasts saying, “Through our great partnership with ESPN, we’re thrilled to be able to bring the best in basketball to our prime-time viewers on Saturdays beginning this January while building on our great Sunday afternoon NBA lineup.” Skipper noted the importance of the new program in regards to its impact on the relationship between ESPN and the NBA noting that “The creation of Saturday Night NBA on ABC is an important moment in the long, successful relationship between ESPN and the NBA. The NBA’s massive popularity continues to open doors for new, collaborative opportunities, and this new series demonstrates ESPN’s commitment to showcase the NBA as often – and across as many platforms – as possible.” He expanded on that thought explaining the expectations of having some of the biggest rivalries on ABC as well as some of the most talked about story lines in the NBA among much more. “Saturday night games will be highlighted by the NBA’s biggest stars, top rivalries and most compelling storylines,” he said. “We expect to establish this series as a big-game destination for NBA fans, along the lines of what we’ve accomplished in college football with Saturday Night Football on ABC.”

The complete Saturday Night NBA broadcast schedule is listed below along with ESPN’s weekly prime-time games and ABC’s NBA Sunday Showcase games.

NBA on ABC schedule – 2015-16 regular-season

Date                 Time (ET)                    Broadcast
Fri., Dec. 25       2:30 p.m.            NBA on Christmas Day

Fri., Dec. 25       5 p.m.                 NBA on Christmas Day

Sat., Jan. 23       8:30 p.m.           Saturday Night NBA

Sat., Jan. 30       8:30 p.m.           Saturday Night NBA

Sun., Jan. 31      3:30 p.m.           NBA Sunday Showcase

Sun., Feb. 7        2 p.m.                NBA Sunday Showcase

Sat., Feb. 20       8:30 p.m.          Saturday Night NBA

Sun., Feb. 21      3:30 p.m.           NBA Sunday Showcase

Sat., Feb. 27       8:30 p.m.           Saturday Night NBA

Sat., Mar. 5         8:30 p.m.           Saturday Night NBA

Sun., Mar. 6        3:30 p.m.           NBA Sunday Showcase

Sat., Mar. 12       8:30 p.m.          Saturday Night NBA

Sun., Mar. 13      3:30 p.m.          NBA Sunday Showcase

Sat., Mar. 19       8:30 p.m.          Saturday Night NBA

Sun., Apr. 3         3:30 p.m.          NBA Sunday Showcase

Sat., Apr. 9          8:30 p.m.          Saturday Night NBA

As an additional note for fans, ABC’s NBA Sunday Showcase will be preceded in each of its broadcasts by NBA Countdown at 3pm ET. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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NBA Finals Game Three Tips Off AT 9pm Tonight On ABC

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2014 NBA Finals are “heating up” after Miami evened its series against the San Antonio Spurs Sunday. The Heat defeated the Spurs Sunday 98-96, tying the series at one game each. Game three will be broadcast exclusively on ABC tonight at 9pm ET. Mike Breen will have the call for tonight’s game. He will be joined by analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. Reporter Doris Burke and officiating analyst Steve Javie will also be on hand for commentary.

Broadcast of tonight’s Game Three will be preceded by NBA Countdown live from the American Airlines Arena in Miami at 8:30pm ET. Sage Steel will anchor the broadcast and will be joined by analysts Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins.

Along with its broadcast on ABC, tonight’s broadcast of Game Three will be simulcast on ESPN Radio affiliates nationwide. Kevin Calabro will have the call. He will be joined by analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Marc Stein for additional insight throughout the game. ESPN Radio’s pre-game coverage begins at 8pm ET. Marc Kestecher and analyst Jon Barry will contribute to that broadcast. ESPN Deportes will carry tonight’s broadcast of Game Three as well. Alvaro Martin and Carlos Morales will have commentary for ESPN Deportes. .

Game Four of the 2014 NBA finals will be simulcast on ABC, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Thursday, June 12th at 9pm ET. Game Five is scheduled for Sunday, June 15th at 8pm ET. Both games will be preceded by NBA Countdown half an hour before tipoff.

All games of the NBA Finals broadcast on ABC are also available online through most internet and mobile internet platforms including: Xbox, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV via WatchESPN. There are also special simulcasts on ESPN3.

More information on coverage of the 2014 NBA Finals is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN and http://espn.go.com/nba. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Upcoming Coverage Schedule Changes

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced that it has made some slight changes to its NBA coverage for games in January and February.  The scheduling changes add games for the Pacers, Blazers, and Suns on the ESPN family of networks.  The first set of changes affect ESPN’s NBA coverage on Wednesday, January 22nd.  ESPN has added a matchup of the Indiana Pacers, who currently sit atop the Eastern Conference, and the Phoenix Suns.  That matchup is scheduled for a 10:30pm ET tip-off.  This addition means that the originally scheduled game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs has been pushed to an 8pm ET start time.  It also results in the previously scheduled game between the Bulls and Cavaliers has been knocked off the night’s schedule.

The second change to ESPN’s NBA coverage schedule is the addition of a matchup between the Trailblazers and Pacers.  That newly added matchup is scheduled for Friday, February 7th.  It is scheduled for a 7pm ET tip-off.  It takes the place of the network’s originally scheduled broadcast of the Cavaliers at Wizards.

While games have been replaced on the air, fans of all teams involved can always catch their team online via WatchESPN.  More information on ESPN’s NBA coverage is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN and http://espn.com/nba.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s Annual “Jimmy V. Week For Cancer Research” Begins Today

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Today, December 3rd, is an important day in the sports world.  The reason for the day’s importance is that it begins the annual “Jimmy V. Week for Cancer Research.”  It all kicks off tonight with a simulcast of beloved former NC State coach Jim Valvano’s  famed 1993 ESPYs speech across the ESPN family of networks.  It will also run on the ABC SuperSign in New York’s Times Square.  Good Morning America host and winner of the 2013 Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Robin Roberts, will introduce the simulcast.

Roberts and a handful of athletes, coaches, celebrities and ESPN faces will share Valvano’s words through public service announcements.  The announcements in question and “Jimmy V Week” content will air on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, NBA on ESPN games, and college football games on ABC.

The week-long memoriam wraps up with the “Jimmy V. Women’s and Men’s Basketball Classics Presented by Corona.”  The games will be broadcast Tuesday, December 17th at 7pm ET on ESPN2.  Number 1 Connecticut will face off against Number 2 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina on the Women’s side.  On the men’s side, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will take to the hard court at 7pm ET.  That game will be followed up by a matchup of Number 16 Florida and Number 11 Memphis at 9:30 ET.  Both games will run on ESPN and ESPN Radio live from Madison Square Garden.

The “Jimmy V. Week for Cancer Research” raised $1.6 million in 2012.  Last year’s success brings the fundraising effort’s six-year total to more than $6.5 million.  More information on this and more from ESPN is available online at http://www.espn.com and http://www.facebook.com/ESPN.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Responds To Johnson’s Departure

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson shocked the sports world this week when he announced that he had made the decision to part ways with ESPN.  He released a statement explinaing that his decision was based on his feeling that he was unable to balance his commitment to ESPN and everything else going on in his life.  He added in his statement that despite his departure, the split was amicable on both sides.  His official statement reads as follows:

“I love ESPN.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of my schedule and other commitments, I don’t feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role. I will always feel a strong connection to the ESPN family and I enjoyed working with them very much. I’d like to thank John Skipper, John Wildhack, Mark Gross, Kim Belton, Amina Hussein, Mark Summer, Adam Hertzog, Bob Rauscher, Stuart Scott, Mike Wilbon, Jon Barry, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons, Chris Broussard and the many others at ESPN for the wonderful opportunity to talk about the game I love. They are the best in the business. “

John Wildhack, ESPN Executive VP of Production released a statement Thursday offering praise for Johnson and noting that the network has already started weighing its options for a commentator for the upcoming NBA season.  Wildhack noted in his statement:  Earvin “Magic” Johnson informed us today that he’ll no longer be part of our NBA coverage due to his other commitments. We appreciate Magic’s contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors. We are in the process of determining our NBA commentator roles for the upcoming season.

Jonson’s announcement comes only days after ESPN announced the signing of fellow NBA veteran Doug Collins to help cover its NBA broadcasts during the 2013-2014 season.  Collins is just the latest acquisition for ESPN’s NBA coverage.  A number of other veterans have already been signed, too.  More on this and other stories is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN and http://espn.com/nba.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.