With David Stern and his owners having decided to cancel the first month of the NBA season in order to extract desired concessions from the National Basketball Players Association, ESPN has had to fill hours of vacated programming.
On November 16, ESPN will replace a canceled NBA doubleheader (BOS/MIA, NY/DEN) with college football action and two hours of SportsCenter, all of which were originally scheduled for ESPN2. The night’s edition of NBA Countdown will be replaced by College Football Live.
As a result, ESPN2 will air a college football telecast that was originally scheduled for ESPNU.
On November 18, the Oklahoma State/Iowa State college football game will move from 9 PM ET on ESPN2 to 8 PM ET on ESPN in order to replace another NBA doubleheader (MIA/CLE, CHI/PHX). SportsCenter will air at 11 PM and 12 AM, respectively, and NFL Kickoff will replace NBA Countdown at 7 PM.
ESPN2 will replace the college football game with college basketball action that was originally scheduled for ESPNU.
On November 25, the third place game of college basketball’s Maui Invitational will move from ESPN2 to ESPN, replacing another NBA telecast (LAL/OKC). ESPN2 will fill that programming vacancy by adding an NIT semifinal originally set for ESPNU.
Finally, ESPN2 will televise the Old Spice Classic consolation game and associated studio programming on November 25 to replace its lone NBA telecast for the season (HOU/MIN).
The 2011-12 NBA season was to begin on November 1. Stern and the 29 NBA owners made the decision to lock players out on July 1, the fourth lockout in the past fifteen years, and the second-longest in league history.
(Wednesday’s news from frontrow.espn.go.com)