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15 Minutes of Blame

If you are expecting to see the Colorado-Houston match on ESPN2 Thursday night at precisely 9 p.m., you'll have to wait.

ABC/ESPN has decided to show the first portion of the NBA Finals opener on ALL of its outlets (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN360, and Mobile) beginning at 8:58. The simulcast coverage will end on the ESPN platforms at the first commercial break in game action.

Kickoff for the MLS match has been pushed back and the broadcast will not begin until 9:15. (The window of coverage will run until 11:30.)

By Steve Goff  |  June 6, 2007; 4:52 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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This is the most amateur, pathetic load of crap I've seen from a network in a long damn time. That is all.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Why, because because there are so many people who get ESPN2 who don't already get ABC and ESPN?

I plan to watch USA v Guatemala on FSC anyway.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 6, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, I-270. All they're doing is pushing the viewers they might have gotten for the MLS match off to the US game. Wonder how much the NBA is paying ESPN for this little "favor".

Posted by: Kenobi | June 6, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Eh, I'll be on a plane, for Vegas, making that 10k bet on Atlanta in the Open Cup. I was assuming that ESPN wouldn't have MLS on that night vs. the Nats, anyway. Just another reason for me to hate basketball.

Posted by: RK | June 6, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

At least it's not the spelling bee, or they might have cancelled the game.

Posted by: Pat Eyler | June 6, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

ABC devalues their entire slate of alternate programming with this move.

Posted by: Logan Circle | June 6, 2007 5:44 PM | Report abuse

That strikes me as really dumb.

Any spin from the ESPN suits as to why?

Posted by: JkR | June 6, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

They're just trying something different to attract everyone watching their outlets to the NBA game.

At least the MLS game will be seen in its entirety and not joined in progress...

Posted by: Goff | June 6, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised. They have done this before with the MNT. If they follow their normal track, the game will be broadcast at 2am.

Posted by: M | June 6, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Of course, they would have been delayed by an owl anyway...that kind of thing happens all the time now...

Posted by: JkR | June 6, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads up Goff. At least the game is being delayed, a big improvement from year's past

Posted by: Andrew | June 6, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Could it have to do with a particular advertising deal? Maybe a guaranteed viewership number? It's a lot like Henry Ford's statement, "You can paint it any color, so long as it's black."

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | June 6, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Alert: stay off the roads from 9-9:15 Eastern. Drivers will be watching the game on their cell phones.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 6, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

maybe now i'll put all the tv's in my house in one room, so i can hate lebron from every angle for 15 minutes. wilbon is probably pitching a tent about this.

Posted by: ngu | June 6, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse


What normal track? You mean the normal track that shows several dozen games live and in their entirety every year, with a handful of times when something runs over it?

The incessant whining about ESPN is so tiresome. Soccer is now on the network with great regularity. I think they showed the CL final THREE TIMES on their networks. And sometimes, shows run over or decisions are made that put soccer secondary. It happens to every sport.

So I guess you guys don't want any pre-game programming like happened before the MLS opener or want the broadcasts stopped after two hours regardless of where the game is at that time because that would run into something else, right?

Posted by: Brian | June 6, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

What pisses me off is that they're completely overlooking ABC Family, Disney Channel and ToonDisney.

No way is the NBA going to survive this.....

Posted by: Kim | June 6, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

This is better than getting pushed back by a college (men) volleyball semifinal, though.

Posted by: Nogra Rover | June 6, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. If they want everyone watching the NBA, then why don't they show the whole game on all of their channels? There's a reason they have different programming for each outlet. Because not everyone wants to watch the same thing.

Posted by: Terp | June 6, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. I don't even care that they're pushing back the start time for the Thursday night MLS match (considering there wasn't even a game last week and I'm sure the casual audience has already forgotten that ESPN shows MLS matches on Thursday nights -- or never even cared in the first place).

I can understand simulcasting on ESPN Desportes (if they're actually going to utilize Spanish announcers), but this seems like pointless overkill.

They did forget about a few channels, though not mentioned previously. They also own stakes in Lifetime (for the female NBA fans), The History Channel (because LeBron's first NBA final is obviously part of history), A&E and E! (because, well, the NBA final IS entertainment afterall).

Posted by: Kevin | June 6, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why they are doing this but thanks for the heads up. I can reset the DVR. At least they are delaying the game a little rather than having to miss the first 15 minutes!

Posted by: 12th man | June 7, 2007 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Why the hell are they playing basketball when its 90+ outside?

Posted by: Hoost | June 7, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least the game's going to be on in full. I don't know much about why folks make decisions like this; but it really just strikes me as an ineffective move. It's not like people sit around and just watch one channel all the time; you look up which channel the game is on and then you turn to that channel at the time the game starts. Whatever; go FSC.....

Posted by: Hacksaw | June 7, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I look at it this way. Someone who stops surfing on the Duece, to catch the NBA game might just watch a little of the soccer game before changing over to ABC.

Posted by: Drew-Rochester | June 7, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Is it wrong that I want the first 15 minutes of the basketball game to be absolute rubbish so we get the people who say screw it and don't change the channel for continuation?

Posted by: bluemeanies | June 7, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

A whole 15 minutes... come on, who cares? This is nothing like that time the DC United match got bumped off ESPN2 and delayed for many hours to make way for a WNBA game, which had been bumped off ABC because of Reagan's death. Fifteen minutes I can handle.

Having said that, what's the point of the simulcast, other than force people to watch the NBA for a few minutes? Surely people who want to watch the Finals know where to find the game.

Posted by: Joe S. | June 7, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

From 8:58 until the first commercial break in game action is a span of time in which there will be mostly pregame hype and hotair and quite alot of commercials. It seems that this a kind of maximization of the momentous beginning of the series to blow out an enormous amount of commercial obligations and force-feed the mass market of viewers--some kind of multi-purpose marketing bs that should really tick-off a bunch of people who won't anticipate its happening. Really, the basketball game itself will be minimal during this premptive strike. The network may be afraid that some breaking news may force them to cut away from the game like in 1994 when OJs car chase preempted one of the Knicks-Rockets Finals game. Most soccer fans tho, only want to be able to see the games that matter I would think, so the US Guatemala game is covered by Telefutura and FSC. Hope Christian Miles is no vacation.

Posted by: cuzco03 | June 7, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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