NBA on DuMont

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For the 1953–54 NBA season, the National Basketball Association began a contract with the DuMont Television Network. This marked the first year the NBA had a national television contract.[1]


The contract had the DuMont Television Network televising 13 Saturday afternoon games. According to the book Tall Tales,[2] NBA owners wanted the presumably "worst" game of the week to be shown on DuMont, because they were afraid if the "best" games were shown, it would negatively affect the gate for that game. Also, even though DuMont wanted the games on Saturday afternoons, a number of owners resisted because they feared that Saturday matinees would not draw as many people as a night game.

The DuMont Network would televise 20 Saturday afternoon games the following season, paying $39,000 for the rights. DuMont's first game aired on December 12, 1953, with the Boston Celtics defeating the Baltimore Bullets 106-75. This was the only year of NBA coverage on DuMont; the Saturday afternoon package moved to NBC for the 1954–55 season, mainly because NBC could clear the games on far more stations that DuMont could.

Games on DuMont were usually blacked out in the cities they were played in; for example, the three Boston Celtics home games included in the 1953-54 package were blacked-out in Boston, however, WJAR-TV in nearby Providence (whose signal covers most of the metropolitan Boston area) did carry the two regular-season Celtics' home games that were part of the DuMont package.[3][4] Meanwhile, as early as 1948-49, The New York Times reported that all New York Knicks games at Madison Square Garden would be televised locally. The local station, WJZ-TV (the forerunner for ABC's flagship station, WABC), also had exclusive rights to televise Knicks' playoff games.


Date Teams Commentators
12/12/53[5][6] Baltimore @ Boston Marty Glickman and Curt Gowdy
12/19/53[7] Syracuse @ Boston Marty Glickman and Curt Gowdy
12/26/53 Boston @ Milwaukee Marty Glickman and John Reddy
1/2/54[8] Philadelphia @ Syracuse Marty Glickman and Dick Grossman
1/9/54 Minneapolis @ Milwaukee Marty Glickman and John Reddy
1/16/54 Philadelphia @ Baltimore Marty Glickman
1/23/54 Philadelphia @ Rochester Marty Glickman
1/30/54 Milwaukee @ Minneapolis Marty Glickman
2/6/54 Fort Wayne @ Syracuse Marty Glickman and Dick Grossman
2/13/54 Syracuse @ Rochester Marty Glickman
2/20/54 Fort Wayne @ Baltimore Marty Glickman
2/27/54 Milwaukee @ Philadelphia Marty Glickman
3/6/54 Philadelphia @ Syracuse Marty Glickman and Dick Grossman
3/13/54 New York @ Syracuse Marty Glickman and Dick Grossman
3/20/54[9] New York @ Boston Marty Glickman
3/27/54 Minneapolis @ Rochester Marty Glickman
4/3/54 Syracuse @ Minneapolis Marty Glickman
4/10/54 Minneapolis @ Syracuse Marty Glickman


Marty Glickman and Lindsay Nelson called Games 2 and 5 of the 1954 NBA Finals for DuMont.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sarmento, Mario R. "The NBA on Network Television: Historical Analysis".
  2. ^ Pluto, Terry. Tall Tales: The Glory Years of the NBA. U of Nebraska Press. p. 23.
  3. ^ Boston Globe, December 19, 1953, p.23
  4. ^ Boston Globe, December 26, 1953, p.7
  5. ^ "TV Schedules Pro Basketball Game-of-Week". Christian Science Monitor. August 18, 1953. p. 11.
  6. ^ Saunders, Dusty (December 11, 1995). "HBO'S SPECIAL ON AFL A 'REEL'KEEPER". Rocky Mountain News.
  7. ^ Remenih, Anton (December 15, 1953). "WHERE TO DIAL TODAY". Chicago Tribune. p. 26.
  8. ^ Remenih, Anton (December 27, 1953). "GRID CLASSICS TO MAKE GAUDY RADIO, TV FARE". Chicago Tribune. p. N_A8.
  9. ^ Hooper, Rand (March 19, 1954). "Knicks and Celtics Battle In 'Must' Game Tomorrow". Christian Science Monitor. p. 15.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
NBA network broadcast partner
1953 - 1954
Succeeded by