NBA Playoffs: Coverage Set for First Round - Broadcasting & Cable

NBA Playoffs: Coverage Set for First Round

NBA TV to independently produce games for first time; ratings up for league's cable nets
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It
took until the final day of the NBA's 66-game sprint of a season, but
after Thursday's final buzzer, the matchups for the first round of the
postseason were finally set.

On Friday ESPN and Turner unveiled their coverage plans for the first week of the 16-team tournament.

The
playoffs begin Saturday, with all eight series tipping off across the
weekend. TNT gets the first game at 1 p.m., a matchup between the
Eastern conference's top-seeded Chicago Bulls and the Philadelphia
76ers. At 3:30 p.m., a star-studded series between the Miami Heat and
New York Knicks kicks off ABC's coverage. ESPN broadcasts its first
playoff games at 7 p.m. with an Orlando Magic-Indiana Pacers/Dallas
Mavericks-Oklahoma City Thunder doubleheader.

Coming
off last year's record-setting season, TNT again had
its highest-rated and most-watched regular season ever. The network averaged a 1.7 U.S. household rating (up 6% from last
year) and 2.50 million total viewers (up 4%). This was TNT's fifth straight year of growth among both viewers and households.

ESPN is poised to match last year's 1.5 HH rating.

The
league's television network, NBA TV, will air roughly 1,500 hours of
coverage, and will once again carry some first-round games. The network
will independently produce them for the first time since the start of
the league's partnership with Turner Sports to jointly manage the NBA's
digital assets four years ago. NBA TV kicks off its coverage with Game 2
of the Magic-Pacers series on Monday.

NBA TV also experienced its most-watched season ever, averaging 337,000 viewers (up 33%) for its 96-game slate.

Below is the TV
schedule for each series' first four games (coverage plans for additional games
TBD):

Saturday, April 28
Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago
Bulls (Game 1) 1 p.m. TNT

New York
Knicks @ Miami Heat (Game 1) 3:30 p.m. ABC
Orlando Magic @ Indiana
Pacers (Game 1) 7 p.m. ESPN
Dallas Mavericks
@ Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 1) 9:30 p.m. ESPN

Sunday, April 29 
Utah Jazz @
San Antonio Spurs (Game 1) 1 p.m.
ESPN
Denver Nuggets @
L.A. Lakers (Game 1) 3:30 p.m. ABC
Boston Celtics @ Atlanta
Hakws (Game 1) 7 p.m. TNT
L.A. Clippers @ Memphis Grizzlies (Game
1) 9:30 p.m. TNT

Monday, April 30 
New York Knicks @ Miami
Heat (Game 2) 7 p.m. TNT
Orlando Magic @
Indiana Pacers (Game 2) 7:30 p.m.
NBA TV
Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City
Thunder (Game 2) 9:30 p.m. TNT

Tuesday, May 1 
Boston Celtics @ Atlanta
Hawks (Game 2) 7:30 p.m. NBA TV
Philadelphia 76ers
@ Chicago Bulls (Game 2) 8 p.m. TNT
Denver Nuggets @ L.A.
Lakers (Game 2) 10:30 p.m. TNT

Wednesday, May 2 
Utah Jazz @ San
Antonio Spurs (Game 2) 7
p.m. TNT
Indiana Pacers
@ Orlando Magic (Game 3) 7:30 p.m. NBA TV
L.A. Clippers @ Memphis Grizzlies
(Game 2) 9:30 p.m. TNT

Thursday, May 3 
Miami Heat @ New York Knicks (Game
3) 7 p.m. TNT
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas
Mavericks (Game 3) 9:30 p.m. TNT

Friday, May 4

Atlanta Hawks @
Boston Celtics (Game 3) 7:30 p.m.
ESPN 2
Chicago Bulls @ Philadelphia
76ers (Game 3) 8 p.m. ESPN
L.A. Lakers @
Denver Nuggets (Game 3) 10:30 p.m.
ESPN

Saturday, May 5 
Indiana Pacers
@ Orlando Magic (Game 4) 2 p.m. ESPN
Memphis
Grizzlies @ L.A. Clippers (Game 3) 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas
Mavericks (Game 4) 7:30 p.m. TNT
San Antonio Spurs @ Utah Jazz (Game
3) 10 p.m. TNT

Sunday, May 6 
Chicago Bulls @ Philadelphia
76ers (Game 4) 1 p.m. ABC

Miami Heat @ New
York Knicks (Game 4) 3:30 p.m. ABC
Atlanta Hawks @ Boston Celtics
(Game 4) 7 p.m. TNT
L.A. Lakers @ Denver Nuggets (Game
4) 9:30 p.m. TNT

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