The National basketball Association is North Americas professional basketball league and it is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America. The NBA comprises of 29 teams from North America and has one team from Canada. It is also a member of the USAB, which is recognized as the National Governing Body for basketball by the International Basketball Federation. Founded in 1946, in New York City, NAB was initially named the Basketball Association of America. The name changed post their merger together with the National Basketball League in 1949.
NBA began making major sports news from the 1980s when the “Magic” Johnson era began. Attracting more sports fans with their already expanding database, NBA began growing with the addition of more franchisees. With the addition of the Dallas Mavericks the NBA had a total to 23 teams inside their portfolio with the Lakers being led by Magic Johnson.
The growing fascination with the league was further propelled when Michael Jordan joined the Chicago Bulls in 1984. The NBA fever continued to rise and more and even more cities began demanding teams of their own. It was in 1995 that NBA expanded into Canada introducing the Vancouver Grizzlies as well as the Toronto Raptors to their profile. Later, the Vancouver Grizzlies were transferred to Memphis making the Toronto Grizzlies the only team from Canada. The 90s was also a landmark in NBA history as in 1996, NBA came up with the first womens league with the National Womens Basketball Association.
The NBA season begins from the first week of November and possesses an overall total of 82 games played by each team with playoffs starting in the month of April. ESPN is among the television partners for the NBA carrying news regarding the games as well as the players.
The “NBA on ESPN” journey began in 1983 when the NBA games were presented by ESPN through their televised cable network. ESPN continued the NBA sports news broadcasting till 1984. They have again started off the NBA games through the 2003 season. ABC Sports aired the games from 2003 until 2006 as “NBA on ABC” till it was taken by ESPN on ABC. ESPN on ABC is the sports brand within the ABC umbrella used to broadcast various sporting events.
NBA games can be viewed on ESPN of Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. NBA Exclusive edition program is telecast for the days when ESPN hasn’t aired a game or for the holidays.
ESPN also airs one Conference Final each year which is a part of the NBAs strategy to make them more popular on cable TV. The playoffs are telecast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Apart from this ESPN also broadcasts the NBA Draft Lottery as well as the NBA Draft.
ESPNs principal competition for the NBA games is TNT. TNT airs the vast majority of major NBA games on the other week nights trying to take up a chunk of ESPNs ratings. It’s mostly in the playoffs and the Conference Finals that TBNT garners higher ratings. However, the regular season ratings are almost identical with both the sports news providers.