Report: Christmas Day Celtics/Knicks Game to Air on TNT

Posted by | November 29, 2011 at 3:57 PM

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)

  • Jason Clinkscales

    Since the NFL is mostly avoiding Christmas except for Bears/Packers, this looks to be a coup/lucky break for TNT in the early going. Now, if that aforementioned game has playoff implications for Chicago and/or Green Bay is staring at 15-0, it’ll be interesting to see how the remainder of the day’s schedule holds up.

    • Paulsen

      I think NBC could get upwards of 30 million viewers for that Bears/Packers Christmas game. Shouldn’t have a negative affect on Heat/Mavericks or even Bulls/Lakers, however.

  • JakeFrankie

    ABC always broadcasts 2 Christmas Day games, I don’t see how having Mavs vs Heat on ESPN or Bulls vs Lakers. I expect them to broadcast on ABC.

    My Ratings predictions are -

    Celtics/Knicks will get higher rating and veiwers than Bulls/Knicks from ESPN last year.
    Mavs/Heat ( Which before the game Mavericks will be presented there NBA Championship ring and raise the banner) I think this will just beat out the Celtics/Magic game from last year.
    Bulls/Lakers will without a doubt fall short of the 6.2 Heat/Lakers had last season. I’m guessing mid 4.0′s to high 4.0′s MAYBE can get into the 5.0′s But I doubt it.

    Celtics/Knicks will get a 3.8
    Mavs/Heat will get 5.0
    Bulls/Lakers will get a 4.5