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