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Sunday, July 14, 2024

NBA Rolls Out Schedule For Pivotal Season

  • TNT will televise a 65-game schedule, while ESPN/ABC will show more than 100 games.
  • New season tips off as The Association begins billion-dollar media rights talks.
Steph Curry and Warriors get most national games.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA released its full schedule for the 2023-2024 season. 

The coming regular season will tip off on October 24 and end on April 14. The NBA Playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 20, with Game 1 of the NBA Finals slated for June 6.

This will be a pivotal campaign for the Association and its two national TV partners: Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ TNT and the Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN/ABC.

Their media rights expire after the 2024-2025 season. But the league will begin negotiations later this year to score $50 billion to $75 billion for its next long-term cycle of rights fees. 

Suppose the two incumbents can’t close the deal during an exclusive negotiating window. In that case, the NBA can throw open the bidding to deep-pocketed tech giants like Amazon Prime Video, Apple, and Google.

Here’s a preview of what to expect this season:

  • The regular season will kick off with TNT’s coverage of a blockbuster doubleheader featuring Nikola Jokic and the NBA Champion Denver Nuggets vs. LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant’s Phoenix Suns vs. Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors. 
  • On Oct. 25, ESPN will televise highly-regarded rookie Victor Wembanyama’s regular season debut at home for the San Antonio Spurs against the Dallas Mavericks.
  • TNT will offer a 65-game schedule, including the NBA In-Season Tournament in November, Martin Luther King Jr. coverage on Jan. 15, and NBA Rivals Week on Jan. 25. TNT will also show NBA All-Star from Feb. 16-Feb. 18 and the 2024 Western Conference Finals.  
  • ESPN and ABC will televise more than 100 regular season games, including five games on Christmas Day and two Opening Week doubleheaders. The sister networks will show James’ Lakers and Curry’s Warriors 17 games apiece. Wembanyama will be featured seven times. ABC will exclusively televise the 2024 NBA Finals.
  • The Warriors will get the most nationally televised games, with 29 telecasts across ABC, ESPN, or TNT. Five other teams will be featured in at least 20 national games, including the Lakers (28), Suns (25), Boston Celtics (25), Nuggets (22), and New York Knicks (20). 
  • Eight NBA teams will only be featured in one nationally televised game apiece. They are the Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets, and Houston Rockets. 
  • The league’s own NBA TV will televise 106 games, with multiple appearances by the Nuggets, Warriors, Lakers and Celtics. The network’s coverage tips off Oct. 28 with the Jalen Brunson and Knicks vs. Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.
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