The NBA will add to games to the Christmas Day schedule, according to a report by the New York Times.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that the abbreviated 2011-12 NBA regular season will begin with five games on Christmas Day, instead of the original three. TNT will air the first game at 12 PM ET, followed by an ABC doubleheader at 2:30 and 5 PM and an ESPN doubleheader at 8 and 10:30 PM.
The report appears to confirm what the New York Daily News reported earlier Tuesday — that the Celtics/Knicks Christmas Day game originally slated for 12 PM on ESPN would remain on the schedule but move to TNT.
The Daily News also indicated that Heat/Mavericks and Bulls/Lakers would remain as scheduled.
It was not immediately clear who would play in the two new games.
The primetime games will undoubtedly be annihilated in the ratings by the NFL Bears/Packers regular season game on NBC, the first Christmas Day NFL game on broadcast since 2006. In each of the past two years, the Christmas night doubleheader on ESPN has been comfortably defeated by primetime NFL action on NFL Network.
The Christmas Day games and the entire 2011-12 season are contingent on the owners and players ratifying a tentative collective bargaining agreement. NBA owners locked out the players in July, formally cancelling the first six weeks of the season.
The lockout will remain in place until the tentative CBA is ratified. This is the fourth work stoppage in NBA history, with all four being owner-imposed lockouts.
(Tuesday’s news from the New York Times)