The NBA will be back on British TV screens after the league and ESPN have announced an agreement for television coverage of the remainder of the 2012-13 season in the UK and Ireland.
ESPN will begin its coverage of the season on Thursday and will bring fans in the UK and Ireland three live games per week throughout the regular-season, plus the NBA All-Star Game, First and Second Round NBA Playoff coverage, the Western Conference Finals, and the NBA Finals.
With the season ticking away and no TV deal having been reached, just last week NBA Commissioner David Stern branded the situation “unacceptable” for UK fans and admitted the league was in talks with BSkyB. However, progress has evidently been made with ESPN, who held the rights last season, and the deal was announced this morning.
“Through our continued partnership with ESPN, fans in the UK and Ireland can look forward to weekly games and an array of NBA programming for the remainder of the 2012-13 NBA Season,” said Dan Markham, Vice President, Media Distribution & Emerging Markets.
Added Simon Potter, head of programming and production, ESPN EMEA, “We’re very pleased to have the NBA returning to ESPN this season, and are looking forward to getting straight into the action and bringing UK and Ireland fans the world’s top basketball league with some great early match-ups.”
Accompanying ESPN’s live coverage this season will be ESPN produced studio shows NBA Tonight and NBA Countdown, providing round-ups of all the action from around the league.
Schedule for the first week of action below:
Day and Date Time (GMT) Matchup
Thursday 6h Dec. 1 a.m.*. New York Knicks @ Miami Heat
Friday 7th Dec. 2:30 a.m. LA Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Monday 10th Dec. 1 a.m. San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets
Tuesday 11th Dec. Midnight New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets
Thursday 12th Dec. 1 a.m. Dallas Mavericks @ Boston Celtics
*morning of Friday, December 7th
Thoughts? Happy to have the league back on TV?!
Image Credit: Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images