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TV to Blame for Spurs’ Difficult Schedule
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On December 2, 2012 @ 6:00 am In All,Headlines,NBA Headlines | No Comments
If Peter Holt mutters a few curses in the direction of Gregg Popovich’s office as he writes that check for $250,000 to David Stern this week, he needs to remember one thing:
Just how broadly he smiles each time he receives a check from Olympic Tower that represents the Spurs’ share of the league’s TV revenue.
Lost in the indignation, official and otherwise, over Popovich’s decision to send four of his best players back to San Antonio rather than play them against the Heat is this: The role TNT network’s exclusive Thursday night programming played in the brutal Spurs’ schedule that led to the coach’s choice.
The cable network paid through the nose for that TNT Thursday accommodation. Now Holt and his partners in Spurs ownership will pay for Popovich’s reaction to playing four games in five nights. That run was dictated, in part, because one day of each week effectively has been taken from those who must figure out the giant jigsaw puzzle that is the league schedule.
Scheduling became much more difficult when the league agreed in 2003 to limit Thursday games to the two aired that night by TNT. The cable giant pays a nine-figure rights fee, part of the $932 million the league will get this season from its TV partners, and insisted on having no competition for NBA-obsessed viewers on Thursdays.
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