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.

Curry, Rousey Take Top Honors At ESPN’s 2015 ESPYS

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2015 ESPYS Awards broadcast is officially in the books. For those that missed all of the events from the big night, all the results can be found right here. One of the night’s biggest winners was UFC star Ronda Rousey, who took home two awards—Best Female Athlete and Best Fighter. This year marks the second time that Rousey has received the award for Best Female Athlete. NBA star Stephen Curry also took home two awards—Best Male Athlete and Best NBA Player. Both awards are the first ESPYS that Curry has won. Curry, the 2015 NBA MVP, led the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Championship this year and a league-best 67 – 15 record. The Championship is the team’s first in forty years. On the baseball side, Mike Trout took home the award for Best MLB Player. The award comes fresh off the heels of his second MLB All-Star Game MVP Title earlier this week. Thanks to earning the 509th touchdown of his career this past season, veteran NFL quarterback Peyton Manning took home the trophy for Best Record-Breaking Performance. It is the second consecutive year that Manning has taken home the trophy for Best Record-Breaking Performance.

In one of the night’s more memorable moments, Cincinnati Bengals star Devon Still accepted the Jimmy V Award For Perseverance. The award, named after the late North Carolina State basketball coach, was given to Still and his daughter Leah for their courage and personal strength throughout Leah’s battle with cancer. And in what remains one of the night’s most talked about moments, Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) was presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Jenner was presented with the award for going public with the story about the decision to become a woman, having kept hidden for years the feeling that she had always been a woman trapped in a man’s body. The Pat Tillman Award for Service was given out for just the second time this year. The award, named after NFL standout turned soldier Pat Tillman, was presented to Notre Dame Basketball player Iraq war veteran, and Purple Heart recipient Danielle Green for her service to the nation and commitment to both her service and her education.

Best Moment Award was posthumously presented to the late Mount St. Joseph University basketball player Lauren Hill while New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter took home the Icon Award. The awards noted here are just some of the awards passed out at this year annual ESPYS Award broadcast. The complete list of this year’s winners is noted below.

 

COMPLETE LIST OF THE 2015 ESPYS WINNERS

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Peyton Manning

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Mo’ne Davis

Best Championship Performance: LeBron James

Best Comeback Athlete: Rob Gronkowski

Best Female Athlete: Ronda Rousey

Best Play: Odell Beckham Jr.

Best Male Athlete: Stephen Curry

Best Team: USWNT

Best Game: Super Bowl

Best Upset: Ole Miss over Alabama

Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers

Best NBA Player: Stephen Curry

Best Fighter: Ronda Rousey

Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Kelly Clark

Best Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Best Male Athlete with a Disability: Krige Schabort

Best MLS Player: Robbie Keane

Best Coach: Steve Kerr

Best International Athlete: Lionel Messi

Best MLB Player: Mike Trout

Best NHL Player: Jonathan Toews

Best WNBA Player: Skylar Diggins

Best Driver: Kevin Harvick

Best Male Golfer: Jordan Spieth

Best Female Golfer: Lydia Ko

Best Male Tennis Player: Novak Djokovic

Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams

Best Male College Athlete: Marcus Mariota

Best Female College Athlete: Missy Franklin

Best Male Action Sports Athlete: Ryan Dungey

Best Female Athlete with a Disability: Becca Meyers

Best Bowler: Jason Belmonte

 

SPECIAL AWARDS

Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Devon and Leah Still

Pat Tillman Award for Service: Danielle Green

Best Moment: Lauren Hill

Icon Award: Derek Jeter

Arthur Ashe Award for Courage: Caitlyn Jenner

 

More information on this year’s ESPYS including video clips from last night’s broadcast and much more is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/espys/2015

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialESPYS

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.

2015 NBA Draft Pulls In Record Numbers

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2015 NBA Draft presented by State Farm is officially in the books. And even with the draft being said and done, there are still lots of story lines for basketball fans to talk about in regards to who was and wasn’t taken. Now ESPN has added another item to discuss as it has announced the ratings numbers for this year’s draft.

ESPN has announced that this year’s NBA Draft presented by State Farm is the most-watched in the event’s history. This is according to Nielsen ratings. According to Nielsen’s numbers, the 2015 NBA Draft presented by State Farm averaged 3,738,000 (P2+). That is up eight percent from ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 NBA Draft. At its highest point, this year’s broadcast had 5,131,000 viewers. That was in the fifteen minute block from 8pm – 8:15pm ET. Not only were this year’s numbers the highest in the draft’s history but they were the highest ever on ESPN, averaging a 2.4 U.S. household rating. That is up four percent from the 2014 NBA Draft. It peaked in the 8pm – 8:15pm ET block with a 3.3 rating.

Even more impressive of ESPN’s broadcast of the 2015 NBA Draft presented by State Farm is that it pushed the worldwide leader in sports to win the night across both the broadcast and cable spectrum in a number of key demos. Those demos include: P 18 – 34, M 18 – 34, P 18 -49, M 18 – 49, and M 25 – 54.

ESPN has carried the NBA Draft ever since 2003 while the draft itself has TV records dating back to 1994. More information on the ESPN networks’ NBA coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NBA news at:

Website: http://www.espn.com.nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

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 Networks To Offer Extensive Coverage Of The 2015 NBA Draft Presented By State Farm

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2014 – 2015 NBA season is officially in the books. But the road to the 2015 – 2016 season has already begun.

This Thursday, June 25th, ESPN will carry exclusive coverage of the 2015 NBA Draft presented by State Farm live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Coverage for this year’s draft is expected to begin at 7pm ET. This year’s broadcast marks the 13th consecutive year that ESPN has carried the draft. NBA fans that won’t be near a TV during the draft won’t have to worry about missing a minute of its coverage as they can hear all the coverage on ESPN radio and online via WatchESPN. Rece Davis will anchor this year’s broadcast. He will be joined at the desk by ESPN college basketball analyst and NBA Draft expert Jay Bilas, college basketball analyst Jay Williams, and NBA analyst Jalen Rose. Mark Kestecher will anchor ESPN Radio’s broadcast. He will be joined by Ryen Rusillo and analyst P.J. Carlesimo for additional insight and commentary.

ESPN’s coverage and insight of this year’s NBA Draft presented by State Farm doesn’t stop at the desk. ESPN NBA analyst Tom Penn will add to the network’s coverage with front office perspective while ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla have a look at international players poised to be drafted into the NBA. Heather Cox will be in the green room and Shannon Spake, new to the draft this year, will have interviews with draftees once selections are made. ESPN college basketball insiders Andy Katz and Jeff Goodman will each offer additional draft and NBA news throughout the broadcast. Brian Windhorst, Ramona Shelburne, and Chris Broussard will each be embedded with one of three teams throughout the Draft for even more coverage–Windhorst with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Shelburne with the Lakers and Broussard with the Knicks.

Leading up to the big night, ESPN2 will air a special one-hour NBA Draft preview show Wednesday night at 7pm ET. Following the Draft, ESPNU will provide Post-Draft coverage beginning at midnight. Anish Shroff, Tim Welsh, and Seth Greenberg will be on hand for commentary.

NBA fans can get more information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of the 2015 NBA Draft presented by State Farm onine at:

Website: http://www.espn.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

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.

Vitale Sticking With ESPN Through 2017 – 2018 Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Good news for basketball fans everywhere. Dick Vitale has signed a new contract with the worldwide leader in sports.

Officials with ESPN announced today that basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale has come to terms with the network on a new deal. The deal in question will keep Vitale with ESPN at least through the 2017 – 2018 basketball season. It will mark Vitale’s 39th season with ESPN. It also means that Vitale will continue to call some of the ESPN networks’ biggest basketball matchups for the foreseeable future. This includes regular-season games on ESPN and ESPN2, and the men’s Final Four on ESPN International.

John Wildhack, Executive VP of Production and Programming for ESPN noted Vitale’s love for basketball, his standout personality and his ability to connect with basketball fans thanks to both factors in signing the new deal saying, “Dick continues to connect with fans by demonstrating an incredibly successful combination of exuberance for and knowledge of the game he loves. He is a one-of-a-kind personality and the passion he brings to everything he is involved with continues to have an enormous impact.”

The deal having been completely finalized, Vitale shared his thoughts about being with the network over the years and what being part of the Worldwide Leader in Sports means to him, saying, “I am so proud to be part of the ESPN team. They have become my second family and have been a vital part of my life. It has been nothing but pure happiness working with the beautiful people at ESPN and I can’t thank them enough as they’ve been responsible for so many of the glorious days I’ve had in my life.”

Over the course of his time at ESPN, Vitale has earned quite the positive reputation. He was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. He has also been awarded for his efforts with the American Cancer Society, The National Association of Basketball Coaches (Court of Honor Award), and Seton Hall University (Humanitarian Award). His work as a board member on The V Foundation for Cancer Research has garnered him respect among his counterparts throughout the sports world as have his efforts with the Boys & Girls Club, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and many other organizations.

Vitale’s debut season on ESPN was the 1979 – 1980 season. That was just after ESPN’s debut season. From there, he went on to call ESPN’s first-ever NCAA basketball game. Wisconsin and DePaul faced off in that game with DePaul defeating Wisconsin 90 – 77. Throughout the years his play calling has become just part of why audiences have come to love him. His catch phrases (E.g. “Awesome, baby!,” “Get a TO, Baby!,” “PTP’er”) have become a part of his legacy. Off the court, Vitale has authored nine books and selected for nine halls of fame. Before joining ESPN, Vitale started his professional career teaching at Mark Twain Elementary School in Garfield, New Jersey and coaching middle school football and basketball. He coached at the high school level for eight years beginning in 1963. In 1970 he moved to the college ranks, working at both Rutgers and The University of Detroit. In May of 1978 he took the helm of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. It was from there that he eventually moved on to join ESPN in 1979.

More information on Vitale’s new deal is available online now along with all of the latest basketball news at:

Website: http://espn.go.com

Facebook: 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.

Dwayne Wade To Appear On Select NBA Countdown Broadcasts

Courtesy: ABC/ESPN/NBA

Courtesy: ABC/ESPN/NBA

ABC has added a big name to its NBA Countdown pre-game broadcast team for this year’s playoff series between the Cavs and Warriors.

ABC announced today that it has added Dwayne Wade to its team for its NBA Countdown pre-game show. Wade, a former teammate to LeBron James, will join host Sage Steel and analysts Jalen Rose and Doug Collins on NBA Countdown ahead of Game 2 and 3 of this year’s playoff series. Should things stay tight enough, Wade will also be on hand for ABC’s pre-game broadcast ahead of Game 6 and 7. Dwayne Wade holds three NBA Championships, was the 2006 NBA Finals MVP, has made 11-appearances at the NBA All-Star Game, and helped Team USA earn gold at the 2008 Olympics.

NBA Countdown airs half an hour before each playoff game and will broadcast live before each game of the NBA Playoffs. More information on ABC’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs is available online now at:

Website: http://abcnews.go.com/sports

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abcnewsSport

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.

Hawks, Nets,Warriors, Grizzlies Hit The Hardwood This Weekend On ESPN, ABC

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has officially announced its broadcast schedule for its coverage of the 2015 NBA Playoffs this weekend.

Officials with the network announced Thursday that ESPN will carry Game Six of the First-Round Eastern Conference matchup between the Hawks and Nets Friday evening. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET on ESPN. Mike Breen will have the call for the game. He will be joined by analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson in the booth for additional commentary. Reporter Doris Burke will be courtside with additional news and insights on the game. Those not near a TV can still catch the game online via WatchESPN.

Following Friday’s Round One matchup between the Hawks and Nets, ABC will take over broadcast duties for the weekend, with a double-header beginning at 1pm ET. Depending on the outcome of Friday’s game between the Hawks and Nets, ABC will carry either Game Seven of the teams’ First-Round Eastern Conference series in Atlanta or Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Hawks and Wizards. This depends on whether or not the Hawks finish off the Nets Friday night in Brooklyn. At 3:30pm ET, ABC will carry the Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies in their Western Conference semifinal series. Along with its broadcast on ABC, the game will be simulcast on the radio via ESPN Radio and online via ESPN3. It all kicks off at 12:30pm ET with ABC’s weekly pre-game NBA broadcast of NBA Countdown. Sage Steel will anchor Sunday’s broadcast and will be joined by analysts Doug Collins and Jalen Rose at the desk.

All of the latest scores and news from the 2015 NBA Playoffs is available online now along with all of the latest news on the ESPN networks’ coverage of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

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.