Coming off of the highest rated NBA regular season on any network since 1999, ABC plans to stick with what works for the 2012-13 season — big markets and star players.
Eight teams will appear on ABC during the 2012-13 NBA regular season, according to the national television schedule released by the league on Thursday.
Of those eight, six play in a top ten market — the Knicks (#1), Lakers and Clippers (#2), Bulls (#3), Mavericks (#4), and Celtics (#7). The remaining two are last year’s NBA finalists — the mid-sized Miami Heat and the small market Oklahoma City Thunder, both of whom have some of the highest-profile stars in the league.
As always, ABC will begin coverage of the NBA season on Christmas Day. The Knicks will face the Lakers in the first game at 3:00 PM ET, with a Thunder/Heat NBA Finals rematch at 5:30 PM.
Thunder/Heat will be the only game of the season on ABC that will not feature a top ten television market.
Of note, the Knicks (five appearances), Thunder (five) and Clippers (four) are scheduled for their most appearances on ABC since the network began airing NBA games a decade ago.
(Schedule from NBA.com)