The NBA is the largest basketball league in America. It has existed for over 70 years. Throughout its history, the NBA has partnered with numerous TV networks in order to broadcast games to the general public.
Early Network History
A variety of television networks have become involved with the National Basketball Association. During the 1953 – 1954 season a deal was made with DuMont. They agreed to televise NBA games for the first time in history. NBC attained the rights for the next season. This company continued to broadcast games up until 1962. The Hughes Television Network took over for two years before a deal was reached with ABC. In 1973 CBS became the main broadcaster until 1989.
NBC had another run between 1990 and 2002. During this period the NBA became increasingly popular, and ratings rose sharply. This was mainly due to highly publicised games and celebrity players. After a bidding war between networks, the NBA chose ESPN and ABC for a six-year deal. This cost $400 million a year.
Star basketball player Michael Jordan became an important part of NBA seasons. Ratings for games declined as a result of his retirement. Luckily viewer interest started to peak again thanks to a rivalry between the Celtics and Lakers. The television deal between ESPN and ABC has been extended until 2025. Turner Sports also works with them as a joint broadcaster.
The rise of the internet has had an impact on the way that the sport is now broadcast. While television networks are still widely used, viewers also have the option of watching games online. This can be done via a subscription service on the official NBA website. It allows users to watch NBA content on portable devices. It seems likely that this method will become more popular in the near future.