Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lack of NBA TV Coverage in Ireland

The one thing that has grated me living over as a NBA Fan in Ireland is the lack of any TV Coverage. Yes thats right no TV Coverage this year. Despite the worldwide appeal of the sport and the bunch of international players playing for their respective teams NBA TV coverage is at an all time low.

Commish please do something

So why is NBA Basketball the most poorly covered of all 4 North American Sports. It's hard to say. A product like the NFL has capitalised on it's large number of UK fans by not only showing the games, hosting a regular season game and setting up a well designed site where fans of the game in the UK are content to discuss the game. In contrast the only signifcant move the NBA has made is open up a London office and give Five ( A channel no Irish person has access to) the rights to show just one game every Tuesday leaving the Irish out of it. Yes you can watch the game on any P2P source but really thats not good enough.

Sky of course had the games last season for irish coverage showing ABC's games every Sunday and even though it was given less priority then the NFL I thought they did an ok job. They didn't have the opinionated presenter a la Nick Halling whick makes their NFL Coverage tick but at least Slam Dunk Monday which showed 4 consecutive NBA games Live and classic was a big hit. The playoff selection of games was extremely questionable when they decided to ignore LeBrons game against Detroit and put on the Spurs and the Jazz. Obviously these games were perhaps planned weeks before schedule but seeing an achievment of Lebrons magnitude would have been awesome to see. It was also unfortuante that a Speedway event overan meaning Game 3 of the Warriors-Jazz series was delayed but at least they showed it. Now suddenly because their NFL Coverage has been expanded with NFL Network programming, SNF and MNF acquired they have decided NBA is no longer their priority. A kick in the teeth.

Will Irish NBA fans ever see SKY's coverage again

Apart from Sky no other channel that can be accessed in Ireland has decided to come in and give the coverage us fans deserve. BBC screened coverage of Michael Jordans comeback game for the Wizards but that was just a novelty. ITV had the quirky highlights show NBA action but this was quickly cancelled in 1999. They also had a Preseason game over at the O2 Arena which ironically featured some excitement the Garnett Celtics against his former team the Timberwolves but sooner or later the novelty of having Preseason games abroad in Europe will wear out and sooner or later fans will demand the real thing just look at the Ticket demand for the NFL London game for proof. Yes the NBA opened up a London office but to contradict themselves by barely having any coverage is a disgrace.

One last thing to further prove my point. Compare the NFLUK site to the NBA UK site and you'll see my point about how neglectful they have been to the product. Apart from a nice blog by Mark Wood and occassional entries on Luo Dengs it lacks the layout and even the Forum that NFLUK has.

Update: Has progress actually been made. According to Mark Wood.

A few incoming mails of late about NBA television coverage in the UK (or rather the lack of it). Watch this space, or rather your TV screen, but my sources in the league tell me there are plans afoot to start streaming games via this website from December in a version of League Pass. In the meantime, the new weekly show, NBA 360, is now available on Five US

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow !!! I cannot believe taht N.B.A, is unavailable in U.K and Ireland this year. It hurts me so much. That was the reason i purchased NASN in the first place. Their coverage stinks now. The show Major League Lacross now. What are they thinking. What will Setanta do??? I hope they bail me out.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge Celtics fan living in Ireland.I travel to Boston at least once a year and catch a couple of games while I am there.The one season we have a decent team and I cannot get to see them on tv.Basketball is huge in Ireland and the coverage has never been worse.It is a disgrace with all our modern technology that we can't watch the game we love.Please someone sort this out.

Derek said...

any idea how we can watch the all star game?

Mark said...

hey... i was readin a tv guide yday and was amazed to see that the NBA All Star game is being shown live on Channel 5 on friday! Does anyone know how to get channel 5 on Sky in Irelan?

Mark said...

hey... i was readin a tv guide yday and was amazed to see that the NBA All Star game is being shown live on Channel 5 on friday! Does anyone know how to get channel 5 on Sky in Irelan?

Derek said...

you cant get it in ireland...so still looking for an alternative

Mark said...

ok cool. lemme know if u find one, and is Sky getting NBA coverage back?

Bryan said...

Maybe if we can generate an unreal amount of interest the people at RTÉ will sort us out with a game or two a week?

But really, what are the odds of this happening... 100,000,000-1?!

It's strange that we can't get Channel 5 over here, considering the amount of British TV available to us.

Anyway, of all the websites I've come across, http://www.raptorsnation.net seems to be the best for watching games online.

Good to see some other Paddy NBA fans!!

Kyle W said...

Yeah Raptorsnation is a decent site althoug it's been down for me the last couple of days.

With ESPN acquiring NASN hopefully they can purchase the rights for next season. Still can't belieive the NBA hasn't given us League Pass which is just like Yahoo gamepass

Anonymous said...

Im the 12/01/2008 comment. Justin.tv sorts me out everytime. Enjoy the answer to your solutions. Just remember to wake up for work, Jimmytheworm

Anonymous said...

Answr to your questions. I need to sleep more :)

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