August 16, 2016
TNT doubles down on the NBA
This year’s NBA Finals was one for the record books. LeBron James (finally) brought a title back to Cleveland, and the team he beat to make that possible might just be the best all-around team in the league. They’re certainly built to last and chock-full of marquee talent.
Plus, the headlines and stories coming out of the playoffs this year had people more excited about the NBA Finals than they’d been in decades.Old and familiar were out, and the new guard had arrived. Exciting, powerful,star-driven team basketball was back. And, since the season ended, the hype has continued.
Maybe that’s why TNT, the cable home of the National Basketball Association recently announced it will kickoff a Monday night double header package of game coverage beginning on January 16.
That way, football fans mourning the loss of Monday Night Football will have another exciting sports viewing option on the first night of the work week.
It’s fitting, too that it will be the Cleveland Cavaliers facing the Golden State Warriors on that kickoff, giving fans the much-anticipated rematch of the two teams that are, far and away, the best in basketball.Following that match, the OKC Thunder will face the LA Clippers in the late game. Yet another powerhouse matchup that should have fans even on the east coast up late to watch.
Fans of the current TNT Thursday night basketball double header have no need to worry. They’ll still be getting their double dose of NBA action later in the week as well. Four big games on a single network every week down the stretch of the season? That’s exactly how TNT wants it, having essentially bet their sports marketing life on hoops, at least for the near future. All told, the network not only gets the season opener – NY versus Cleveland on October 25 – they also get at least 64 regular season games as well.
Bottom line, the players have made the league and the game relevant again outside die-hard fans. Now it’s time for the network to pony up and put some cash behind the production. This could be the beginning of something huge for TNT, the NBA, and the fans.