The National basketball Association is North America’s professional basketball league and is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America. The NBA comprises of twenty nine teams from North America and has one team from Canada. It is also a member of the USAB, which in turn is recognized as the National Governing Body for basketball by the International Basketball Federation. Founded in 1946, in New York City, NAB was initially called the Basketball Association of America. The name changed post their merger with the National Basketball League in 1949.
NBA began making major sports news in the 1980’s when the “Magic” Johnson era began. Attracting more sports fans to their already expanding database, NBA began expanding by adding more franchisees. With the addition of the Dallas Mavericks the NBA had a total to 23 teams in their portfolio with the Lakers being led by Magic Johnson.
The growing interest in the league was further propelled when Michael Jordan joined the Chicago Bulls in 1984. The NBA fever continued to rise and more and more cities began demanding teams of their own. It was in 1995 that NBA expanded into Canada adding the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors to their profile. Later, the Vancouver Grizzlies were moved to Memphis making the Toronto Grizzlies the only team from Canada. The 90’s was also a landmark in NBA history as in 1996, NBA created the first women’s league with the National Women’s Basketball Association.
The NBA season begins in the first week of November and has a total of 82 games played by each team with playoffs beginning in the month of April. ESPN is one of 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 the NBA games from 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 under the ABC umbrella used to broadcast various sporting events.
NBA games can be viewed on ESPN of Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. NBA Special Edition program is telecast for the days when ESPN has not aired a game or for the holidays.
ESPN also airs one Conference Final each year which is a part of the NBA’s 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 and the NBA Draft.
ESPN’s main competitor for the NBA games is TNT. TNT airs most of the major NBA games on the other week nights trying to take up a chunk of ESPN’s ratings. It is mostly during the playoffs and the Conference Finals that TBNT garners higher ratings. However, the regular season ratings are almost the same with both the sports news providers.