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SBD/May 16, 2011/Media
TNT Up Big With Heat-Bulls NBA Eastern Conference Finals Opener
Published May 16, 2011
OPRAH'S NOT THAT POWERFUL: In N.Y., Howard Beck reported rumors that Oprah Winfrey has "bumped the playoffs" from United Center are untrue. Winfrey "will occupy the arena the next two days to set up and tape a farewell show," with Heat-Bulls Game Two scheduled for Wednesday. The Eastern Conference Finals were scheduled to begin Wednesday, but because "both Eastern Conference semifinals series finished early ... Game 1 was moved up to Sunday." The "earliest Game 2 can be held is Wednesday, because Tuesday is reserved for the Western Conference finals." Television contracts do "dictate some of this," as ESPN and ABC are airing the Western finals this year and were "guaranteed the Tuesday slot." NBA Senior VP/Basketball Communications Tim Frank said Tuesday "was never on the table for the East." He added Winfrey's show "wasn't a factor" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/14).