Sports on TV: NBA, NHL playoffs dominate coverage

By Paul Christian

The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

The two Minnesota teams are nowhere to be found, but let's talk playoffs anyway.

The NBA Playoffs start on Saturday and will wind up in the middle of June while the NHL Playoffs started Wednesday night and, again, last until June.

You'll see all the NBA games on either TNT, ESPN, ABC or NBA TV.


Turner Sports enters its 26th year of NBA Playoffs coverage, and will air approximately 50 games, including the Western Conference finals.

NBA TV will televise six games and provide up to 305 hours of original programming.

TNT tips off on Sunday with a first-round tripleheader.

The TNT studio show features host Ernie Johnson along with Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley.

ESPN and ABC will have up to 44 games, including the NBA FInals on ABC. Coverage begins with five games, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday with Chicago and Cleveland on ABC. The Lakers take on Oklahoma City at 2 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

ESPN will then have a Saturday tripleheader.

Play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters will provide commentary for both ABC broadcasts.

Meanwhile, NBC starts its NHL coverage on Saturday with a noon game between Boston and Buffalo and then at 2 p.m. Sunday with Detroit and Phoenix.


You'll see weekend games on NBC while Versus has the rest of the schedule, usually with a nightly doubleheader.

Fox will be missed

It was shocking and sad to learn that Bob Fox, the general manager of Clear Channel Communications in Rochester, died Sunday.

He was 61.

A Montana native, Fox came to Rochester in 1999 after working in the radio business in Oregon, Montana and California.

He will be missed both in the local media industry and also by the running community. He was an avid runner and a big promoter of local road races.

He is survived by his wife Cara and daughter Catie.

Around the tube


• Ratings for the all-day coverage of Monday's Target Field opener on Fox Sports Net North were spectacular, spiking at 3 p.m. with the first pitch.

• The NFL releases its 2010 regular-season schedule on Tuesday, with the NFL Network and ESPN2 and ESPN airing subsequent specials, both starting at 6 p.m. ESPN2 has a two-hour show and ESPN takes over at 8 p.m. with an hour special.

• It'll be a busy week for the NFL, which, for the first time, starts its draft in prime time next Thursday. Round one on Thursday starts at 6:30 p.m., round two at 5 p.m. Friday and rounds four-seven start at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The NFL Network and ESPN will have wall-to-wall coverage.

Paul Christian is a Post-Bulletin sports writer. He writes a weekly Friday column devoted to TV and radio sports and can be reached at

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