NBA on TBS
|NBA on TBS|
|Also known as||"America's Game"|
|Created by||Turner Sports|
|Developed by||Turner Sports|
|Directed by||Tom Smith
Michael Reardon, Jr.
|Starring||See commentators section below|
|Opening theme||"Higher Ground" by Run-DMC|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||16|
|Executive producer(s)||Don McGuire|
|Running time||180 minutes (or until game ends)|
|Original run||October 28, 1984 – May 14, 2002|
|Related shows||NBA on TNT|
The NBA on TBS debuted in the 1984-1985 season (replacing the USA Network as the National Basketball Association's national cable television partner) under a four year contract, where they shared the NBA package along with CBS.
For their first year in the 1984-85 season, TBS was scheduled to air approximately 55 regular season games on Tuesday and Friday nights. TBS also carried numerous NBA Playoff games as well as the NBA Draft from 1985-1989.
Playoff coverage 
TBS was allowed to televise 20 early round playoff games from the start of their playoff coverage in 1985.
In 1986, TBS (nor CBS) did not carry Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, relegating that to local TV. This would be the last time any NBA Conference Finals game was not aired on a national network.
During the 1989 NBA Playoffs, only 13 of the 24 Games 1-3 in Round 1 appeared on TBS or CBS. For example, none of the four games from the Seattle-Houston first round series appeared on national television.
Atlanta Hawks 
Some Atlanta Hawks (also owned by Ted Turner at the time) games were shown on TBS until the TBS telecasts became subject to blackout within 35 miles of the home-team's arena. (This restriction was dropped when TNT gained the right to be the exclusive broadcaster of any game that it chose to carry.)
All-Star Weekend 
Partnership with TNT 
In the summer of 1987, TBS decided to sign a new deal along with TNT (which launched the next year) before TBS' final year went out. In 1988, both TBS and TNT held broadcast rights to air NBA games. Whereas TNT held the NBA Draft and most NBA regular season and playoff games, TBS only aired games one day out of the week.
Both networks continued to expand in the late 1990s, when TBS only had Wednesday night games, while TNT got Monday, Tuesday and Friday night games. By 1994, Turner Sports kicked off the playoffs with overlapping doubleheaders on both TBS and TNT on the first two nights.
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
2001-2002 season would ultimately mark TBS' final year of NBA coverage. For the next NBA television contract, it was decided that TNT would continue to run the NBA package while TBS will discontinue their coverage altogether, effectively replaced by ESPN. In 2002, TBS aired doubleheaders every Tuesday night of the playoffs until the Conference Finals. The final NBA game that TBS televised was on May 14, 2002, when the San Antonio Spurs faced the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the Western Semifinals. In that last game, Robert Horry hit a key 3 pointer that won the series for the Lakers 4-1 to move on to the Western Conference Finals.
Coverage anomalies 
On May 3, 1992, the broadcast of Game 4 of the playoff series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz was taken off of NBC and aired instead, on TBS. This created a problem because the game now had to be blacked out in the Los Angeles area. Folks in the Los Angeles area could only watch the game on SportsChannel Los Angeles, a premium cable service (as opposed to TBS, a basic cable service). SCLA chose not to unscramble its signal, and, in letters to the Los Angeles Times and other sources, viewers complained that the game should have been made available to all subscribers as a public service.
On isolated occasions (typically during the playoffs) since the new TV deal, TBS has aired NBA games. In 2003, TBS aired a doubleheader of first round Game 6 matchups (Indiana vs. Boston, followed by San Antonio vs. Phoenix). On May 22, 2006, due to the San Antonio Spurs-Dallas Mavericks Game 7 going overtime, TBS aired part of the Los Angeles Clippers-Phoenix Suns Game 7. On May 14, 2004, the same situation arose, as Game 5 of the New Jersey Nets-Detroit Pistons playoff series went three overtimes. However, due to scheduling conflicts with TBS, TNT had to air part of the Sacramento Kings-Minnesota Timberwolves game that was supposed to follow on NBA TV. The first few minutes of Game 4 of the 2007 Western Conference Semifinal between the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs were shown on TBS, due to the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New Jersey Nets running past 9:30 p.m. EST.
The above situations are not unlike those that have been encountered during TBS telecasts of Major League Baseball Division Series games since 2007; at times, due to certain games running late, TNT had to air the first few minutes of games that TBS was supposed to cover starting from a certain time.
- Marv Albert
- Rick Barry
- Tim Brando
- Kevin Calabro
- Chip Caray
- Skip Caray
- Jim Durham
- Mike Gorman
- Kevin Harlan
- Verne Lundquist
- Bob Neal
- Charlie Neal
- Mel Proctor
- Dick Stockton
- Ron Thulin
- Pete Van Wieren
Color commentators 
- Danny Ainge
- John Andariese
- Red Auerbach
- Rick Barry
- Hubie Brown
- Quinn Buckner
- Doug Collins
- Chuck Daly
- Mike Fratello
- Walt Frazier
- Jack Givens
- Mike Glenn
- Rod Hundley
- Steve Jones
- John MacLeod
- Don Nelson
- Bill Raftery
- Doc Rivers
- Oscar Robertson
- Bill Russell
- Reggie Theus
- John Thompson
- Dick Versace
- Bill Walton
Studio hosts 
Studio analysts 
Sideline reporters 
- Scott Hastings
- Kevin Kiley
- Cheryl Miller - In November 1996, she became the first female analyst to call a nationally televised NBA game.
- Charlie Neal
- Craig Sager
Christmas Day broadcasters 
Conference Finals broadcasters 
|1989||Eastern (Games 2, 5)
Western (Games 2–3)
|Rick Barry (Game 2) and Steve Jones (Game 5)
|1988||Eastern (Games 1–2, 5)
Western (Games 1–3)
|1987||Eastern (Games 1–2, Game 5)
Western (Games 2–3)
|1986||Eastern (Game 2)
Western (Game 2)
|1985||Eastern (Games 2, 5)
Western (Game 2)
At the end of their 1987 playoff coverage, TBS used Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" as the soundtrack for their closing credits sequence. TBS used Run-DMC to sing and create its theme during the early part of the 2000s (decade). The song included a version of the Stevie Wonder song "Higher Ground."
|1984-85 to 1985-86||TBS||$20 million/2 years|
|1986-87 to 1987-88||TBS||$25 million/2 years|
|1988-89 to 1989-90||TBS/TNT||$50 million/2 years|
|1990-91 to 1993-94||TNT||$275 million/4 years|
|1994-95 to 1997-98||TNT/TBS||$397 million/4 years|
|1998-99 to 2001-02||TNT/TBS||$840 million/4 years|
- 1985-1990 NBA playoff announcers
- 1991-1995 NBA playoff announcers
- 1996-2000 NBA playoff announcers
- Sports Broadcast History Forums
- 1984-'85 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1985-'86 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1986-'87 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1987-'88 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1988-'89 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1989-'90 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1994-'95 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1995-'96 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1996-'97 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1997-'98 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1999 NBA Announcing Crews
- 1999-2000 NBA Announcing Crews
- 2000-'01 NBA Announcing Crews
- 2001-'02 NBA Announcing Crews
- The National Basketball Association returns to TNT and TBS Superstation for the 2001-2002 season, as the networks combine to televise 79 games - 48 games on TNT and 31 games on the Superstation.