NBA viewers will no longer have to put up with biased local broadcasters during nationally televised NBA playoff games.
USA Today reported Sunday that NBA TV will produce its own NBA playoff telecasts this year instead of simulcasting local coverage. The announcement is expected Monday.
The simulcasts had become problematic in recent years, as national audiences were exposed to homers such as the Celtics’ Tommy Heinsohn and the Spurs’ Sean Elliott.
One of the most glaring examples of homerism occurred during last year’s Grizzlies/Spurs Game 5, when the Grizzlies’ broadcast team — picked up by NBA TV for the national audience — fell into disappointed silence after the Spurs’ Gary Neal hit a game-tying three to force overtime.
Before Turner Sports began running NBA TV in 2008, the network produced its own playoff telecasts each year. In 2004, for example, the network paired Spero Dedes and Steve Jones for three first round games.
Now that NBA TV has made this much-needed adjustment, the only league using local broadcasters on national playoff games is the NHL. This postseason, all games on NHL Network and several games on NBC Sports Network and CNBC have simulcast local coverage.
(Sunday’s news from USA Today)