The NBA will finally return to British TV screens this week after the league signed a deal with ESPN until the end of the current season.
The coverage begins on Thursday night with New York Knicks versus Miami Heat and will include three live games per week, NBA All Star Game, First and Second Round NBA Play-off coverage, Western Conference Finals, and NBA Finals.
It comes after Commissioner David Stern took a personal interest in ending the blackout. It is understood the league also held talks with Sky Sports but have, so far, been unable to reach an agreement.
“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, NBA Media Distribution & Emerging Markets.
Simon Potter, head of programming and production, ESPN EMEA, added: “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.”
The NBA has also done a deal for live streaming with online betting company Unibet.com, according to the oddsmakers’ website.
Friday 7 Dec. 1 a.m.. New York Knicks @ Miami Heat
Saturday 8 Dec. 2:30 a.m. LA Lakers @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Tuesday 11 Dec. 1 a.m. San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets
Wednesday 12 Dec. Midnight New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets
Friday 13 Dec. 1 a.m. Dallas Mavericks @ Boston Celtics
Main photo: Michael Wilbon, Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons on the set of the Kia NBA Countdown show (Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN)
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