With Christmas Day set to double as NBA Opening Night, TNT will reportedly air one of the three games originally slated for ESPN/ABC.
The Christmas Day Celtics/Knicks NBA regular season game will move from ESPN to TNT, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday. According to the report, the move was necessitated by Turner Sports’ contract with the NBA, which mandates that TNT air the first game of the season.
NBA owners and players agreed early Saturday morning to a tentative collective bargaining agreement, paving the way for an end of the owner-imposed lockout. Before the agreement can be finalized, the players must conclude their legal action against the league, and both sides must ratify the proposed deal.
Assuming both sides ratify the agreement, the 2011-12 NBA season would begin on Christmas Day. The Daily News reports that the three previously scheduled Christmas Day games — Celtics/Knicks, Heat/Mavericks, and Bulls/Lakers — would remain on the schedule. It was not clear whether the latter two games would remain on ABC.
TNT last aired NBA games on Christmas Day in 2008, televising a primetime Wizards/Cavaliers and Mavericks/Blazers doubleheader.
(Tuesday’s news from New York Daily News)