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SBD/August 7, 2013/Media
Lakers, Heat, Knicks Lead '13-14 TV Games, While Rockets Make Jump In Appearances
Published August 7, 2013
WAITING FOR SUPERMAN: In Houston, David Barron noted the Rockets, after acquiring C Dwight Howard in free agency, "will make at least 26 appearances" on national TV this season, "one year removed from a season in which they were afterthoughts as blockbuster attractions for national television programmers." Last year's schedule, which came out before G James Harden's trade from the Thunder, "included just two Rockets games on ESPN’s initial schedule and no games on ABC or TNT." The Rockets this year are "among six teams with the maximum 10 appearances" on ESPN and one of seven teams "with at least nine games on TNT." The team's "expanded national visibility will be a boon to fans shut out last season because of the limited availability of Comcast SportsNet Houston." Whether that "higher national profile will help or hurt CSN Houston’s carriage talks" is a "question that may be answered between now and the season opener" (CHRON.com, 8/6).
MUST-SEE TV? USA TODAY's Sean Highkin writes despite "very real shortcomings and indications that [the Lakers] won’t be very good, they will be on national TV more times this season than all but three teams." The team's 29 appearances, which includes NBA TV appearances, are up from 28 last season. They had 25 national games both in '10-11 and '09-10, two seasons in which they were "coming off NBA titles." Highkin: "Obviously, the Lakers have a huge global fanbase. ... But 29 games, and a marquee Christmas Day matchup with the Heat that will almost certainly be a blowout, feels excessive" (USATODAY.com, 8/6).