NBA on TNT: Wikis


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NBA on TNT.png
Format Sports
Starring Marv Albert
Doug Collins
Ernie Johnson Jr.
Charles Barkley
Kenny Smith
Reggie Miller
Kevin Harlan
Dick Stockton
John Thompson
Matt Devlin
Craig Sager
David Aldridge
Cheryl Miller
Chris Webber
P. J. Carlesimo
Pam Oliver
Country of origin  United States
Running time 150 minutes+
Subject to change
Original channel TNT (1988-1995, 2001-)
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run October 30, 1988 – June 11, 1995
November 13, 2001 - present
External links
Official website

The NBA on TNT is Turner Network Television's coverage of the National Basketball Association, produced by Turner Sports. TNT's basketball broadcasts, which include a weekly doubleheader known as TNT NBA Thursday, the Inside the NBA studio show, as well as playoff coverage, are perhaps that channel's signature programs. TNT began airing NBA games in 1988, and aired games on multiple nights of the week (usually twice a week with sister network TBS airing another game on another night) until 2002. In the video game NBA 07, made by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 consoles, graphics for TNT's NBA games is seen when playing an exhibition, playoff, preseason, or seasonal game.





TNT airs many of the NBA's marquee games (the NBA All-Star Game, a full Conference Final, Opening Night games, and the vast majority of playoff games), and is regarded by many NBA fans as the equivalent of what NBC was during their coverage of the league[1]. TNT would seem to be the preferred carrier to the NBA as well; from 2003 to 2005, TNT aired the Conference Final with the most interest from the national media (Spurs-Mavericks in 2003, Lakers-Wolves in 2004 and Pistons-Heat in 2005). TNT also airs most of the big games during the regular season (TNT aired a Lakers-Heat game for the third straight year in 2007), and TNT studio content is streamed to via the TNT Overtime section.

Studio team

The host of the NBA on TNT since its inception is Ernie Johnson Jr. Currently, Johnson is joined by Kenny "The Jet" Smith and Charles Barkley. The NBA postgame show which features the three, Inside the NBA, has gained popularity in recent years for the chemistry and banter they have. Occasionally, Johnson, Smith and Barkley are joined by Chris Webber, David Aldridge, Gary Payton or Reggie Miller.

Playoff coverage

TNT's playoff coverage, nicknamed 40 Games in 40 Nights, has entered its 20th year. In previous years, TNT and TBS aired doubleheaders opposite each other each night of the first round of the playoffs, with one network airing a doubleheader at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and the other network airing a doubleheader at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (all times Eastern).

In 2003 and 2004 (the first 2 years of its current contract), TNT aired the Western Conference Finals. From 2005 on, TNT has aired the Eastern Conference Finals in odd-number years and the Western Conference Finals in even-number years. It has been a tradition that whenever an NBA team from a particular conference wins the NBA title that year, TNT will air the finals of the NBA Champion's conference the very next season (in the case of the Los Angeles Lakers winning the 2009 NBA Finals, TNT will air the Western Conference Finals in 2010).

In 2007, TNT aired the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time (the first was in 2005). They again aired them in 2009.


Starting in 2000, the NBA spread out playoff series so that only two series would play per day (so as to avoid TNT and TBS competing for ratings). TNT would air doubleheaders on most weekdays, while TBS would air one doubleheader per week (in 2002, TBS aired doubleheaders every Tuesday night of the playoffs until the Conference Finals).

Since 2003

NBA on TNT logo circa 2001-2008

With the advent of the new NBA television deal in 2003 (which ended TBS' coverage), TNT has aired playoff games alone, including (in 2003 only) some weekday tripleheaders. The tripleheaders, which were criticized by both fans and many in the media, consisted of one game at 6:00 p.m., another at 8:30 p.m., and a final game at 11:00 p.m. After 2003, the NBA and TNT discontinued the tripleheaders, instead settling for a doubleheader on TNT and a single game on NBA TV simultaneously.

Other than their regular Thursday schedule, TNT also airs NBA regular season games on Martin Luther King Day, during which tripleheaders are still used.

Canadian coverage

TNT rarely shows regular season games from the Toronto Raptors, the NBA's lone non-United States based franchise. This is because the Toronto market lies outside the network's saleable broadcast zone (TNT is not available in Canada, and Canadian viewership would not affect TNT's U.S. ratings even if it was available in that country).

Virtually all TNT games, regular season or postseason, are now simulcast in Canada via either TSN/TSN2, The Score Television Network, or Raptors NBA TV. However, any TNT coverage of Raptors postseason games is not aired in favour of team-produced coverage, as has been the case with all Raptors games in Canada since the early 2000s.

Announcing teams

The NBA on TNT logo used prior to the 2001-02 NBA season.
Mike Fratello, Reggie Miller and Marv Albert, along with TNT production staff, during an NBA on TNT broadcast.

The lead announcing team for the NBA on TNT was Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, with Doug Collins joining them for important regular season games, the NBA All-Star Game and the Conference Finals, however Kerr left TNT to become the general manager of the Phoenix Suns. Reggie Miller and Mike Fratello also join Albert on commentary during regular season games, while Collins join Kevin Harlan as the No. 2 announce team. Dick Stockton, who has been with TNT since 1995, is currently the third play-by-play man, calling select regular season and playoff games. Stockton occasionally rotates with both Miller and Fratello. Another occasional announcer is Matt Devlin. When not calling Toronto Raptors games, Devlin is usually filled in as play-by-play man on select games, particularly in the playoffs. Past lead broadcasting teams for TNT include Stockton and Hubie Brown, who worked as a team dating back to NBA on CBS and continued doing games together until 2002, when Brown left the broadcast booth to coach in the NBA.Bob Neal and Reggie Theus also worked as a lead team for TNT for several years. Several prominent NBA analysts have chosen TNT over ABC or ESPN, such as Doug Collins and Charles Barkley (Barkley was not only approached by ABC about an NBA studio job in 2002, but as also rumored to have been approached for a job on Monday Night Football). Reggie Miller was also sought out by ABC and ESPN, only to go to TNT. Craig Sager and Cheryl Miller currently serve as the primary sideline reporters, with David Aldridge filling in on select games.

The biggest TNT acquisition once sought out by ABC and ESPN was Marv Albert. After the 2002 NBA Finals, Albert, essentially a free agent, was a candidate for the lead spot on The NBA on ABC. Albert, hired by TNT in 1999, decided to stay with the network[2]. Some attributed this to the fact that TNT gave Albert his first chance to be on national television after the embarrassing sex scandal that forced his firing at NBC. Albert and Mike Fratello—both of whom worked as a team in the NBA on NBC's early years—would ultimately reunite on TNT.

Hubie Brown and Jeff Van Gundy are currently the only former TNT announcers working for ABC. Brown, whose role on TNT was going to be significantly reduced starting with the 2002–03 season, left in 2002 to coach the Memphis Grizzlies. After two seasons of coaching, he left Memphis in early 2004 (leading to the departure from TNT of lead analyst Mike Fratello, who replaced him in Memphis) and was quickly picked up by ABC. Jeff Van Gundy, who was fired by the Houston Rockets after they lost in the first round, joined ABC at the beginning of the Western Conference Finals. Part-time TNT broadcaster Mike Breen is now the lead broadcaster for ABC and once-time TNT analyst Doc Rivers worked for ABC in 2004. Meanwhile, Pam Oliver, the lead sideline reporter for NFL games on FOX Sports joined Turner Sports in 2004 as she would only be on during the NBA Playoffs as she still continues that role today.


TNT's current NBA game theme was written by composer Trevor Rabin[3].

Contract history[4]

Seasons Contracts Amount
1988-89 to 1989-90 $50 million/2 years
1990-91 to 1993-94 $275 million/4 years
1994-95 to 1997-98 $397 million/4 years
1998-99 to 2001-02 $840 million/4 years
2002-03 to 2007-08 $2.2 billion/6 years

TNT extended its deal with the NBA in 2007. TNT's NBA contract is up at the end of the 2015–16 season, financial terms between the NBA and TNT were not disclosed, although the NBA will receive $930 million per year from all of its broadcasting partners (ESPN, ABC, ESPN Radio, and NBA TV). [5]


External links


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