The NBA unveiled its complete game schedule for the upcoming season, along with the broadcast schedules for its partners at ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV. The league’s 74th regular season will tip off on Oct. 22 and conclude on April 15, 2020. In an effort to present national television games to the largest possible audience, the NBA worked closely with its teams and domestic broadcast partners to schedule earlier start times for doubleheaders this season, with 12 of TNT’s 31 doubleheaders and 22 of ESPN’s 36 doubleheaders tipping off at 7:30p/10p or 7p/9:30p. In addition, instances of teams playing games on back-to-back days will be an all-time low for the fifth straight season and – for the third season in a row – no team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days. A record 48 games will air in primetime in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with 24 games each on Saturday and Sunday.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of it, ESPN and ABC will combine to carry 101 NBA regular season games, beginning with a primetime doubleheader on ESPN, which will offer 83 games, including a special Thanksgiving Eve blockbuster doubleheader and 18 games on ABC, highlighted by NBA Christmas Day and NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC. The ESPN and ABC NBA Christmas Day tradition enters its 18th year on Dec. 25, with approximately 14 consecutive hours of NBA coverage, beginning at 11a with NBA Countdown featuring a five-game slate. ABC’s telecasts will be anchored by at least five appearances each from the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers while ESPN sees 13 appearances each by the Lakers and Warriors, with 10 appearances each by the Clippers, Rockets, Celtics, Bucks, Pelicans and Jazz.
On TNT, the network serves up 67 games, with double digit appearances by the Lakers, Warriors, Clippers, Bucks, Rockets, Celtics and Trail Blazers. TNT will officially tip off the 2019-20 NBA regular season with two Opening Week doubleheaders including an Opening Night doubleheader will begin with the Pelicans making their first of seven TNT appearances against the Raptors on Oct. 22, at 8p, followed by the Lakers/Clippers at 10:30p. Additionally, NBA on TNT’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day tripleheader on Jan. 20, will be highlighted by Warriors/Trail Blazers at 10:30p and tip off with the Pelicans/Grizzlies at 5p, and Lakers/Celtics at 7:30p.
Finally, NBA TV delivers 107 live games during the 2019-20 regular season with double-digit appearances for the Lakers, Bucks, clippers, Rockets, 76ers, Warriors, Trail Blazers and Pelicans. The network will tip off its regular season coverage with a tripleheader on Oct. 26, when the Heat visit the Bucks at 5p, followed by the Knicks at 7:30p, wrapped up by Clippers/Suns at 10p. Two games played outside the United States will also air on the network, the NBA Mexico City Games 2019 featuring the Spurs and the Suns on Dec. 14, at 5p and the Bucks/Hornets in the NBA Paris Game 2020 presented by beIN SPORTS on Jan. 24, at 3p.