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NBA National Cable TV Schedule – February 14-20

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, February 8. All times EST. Note: this weekend is the All-Star Game.

  • Tuesday, February 14
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at Minnesota Timberwolves, 8pm on NBATV
    • Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30pm on NBATV
  • Wednesday, February 15
    • Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7pm on ESPN
    • New York Knicks at Oklahoma City Thunder, 9:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, February 16
    • Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls, 8pm on TNT
  • Friday, February 17
    • Rookie-Sophomore Young Stars Game, 9pm on TNT
  • Saturday, February 18
    • Skills Challenge and Slam Dunk Contest, 8pm on TNT
  • Sunday, February 19
    • All-Star Game, 8pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.

NFL Sunday Ticket Package Undergoes Rate Hike

Satellite broadcaster DIRECTV is the exclusive home of NFL Sunday Ticket, which shows out of market games, among other features, and is popular with NFL fans and sports bars alike. Each year the price goes up a little bit, but this year, rates for the service are increasing almost five times more than they did last year.

More from TVPredictions.com:

The satcaster, which is now taking orders for the 2017 season, has priced the basic Sunday Ticket package at $281.94. The price is good until September 9, 2017, the night before the first week of Sunday regular season games. (Prices go up after September 9.)

In contrast, DIRECTV last year charged just $257.94 if you ordered the Sunday Ticket before the first week of regular season action.

The increase in the pre-season price this year is 9.3 percent. DIRECTV raised the pre-season price last year by only 2.4 percent.

The basic Sunday Ticket plan entitles a subscriber to watch out-of-market Sunday NFL games as well as access the Ticket Mix Channel (all games on one screen at the same time) and on-screen stats.

DIRECTV has raised the pre-season price for the Sunday Ticket Max plan to $377.94, which is a five percent increase over last year’s pre-season price of $359.94. The satcaster last year raised the pre-season Max price by just 1.7 percent over the 2015 season.

The Max plan includes the live regular season games as well as the Red Zone Channel (games are broadcast when a team crosses the other team’s 20 yard-line), and the DIRECTV Fantasy channel.

Both the basic and Max plans also permit subscribers to stream the games on their computers, mobiles and connected TVs.

DIRECTV has revealed the 2017 pricing structure at its web site and via its on-screen programming guide.

It’s no surprise that the company is going all-in on NFL Sunday Ticket, as it is the major area that sets the company’s offerings apart from other cable TV and satellite TV providers. Customer loyalty to DIRECTV is tied a lot to the NFL Sunday Ticket package. We’ll see if these loyal customers stick through the highest rate hike yet.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – February 7-13

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, February 7. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, February 7
    • Orlando Magic at Houston Rockets, 8pm on NBATV
  • Wednesday, February 8
    • Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks, 8pm on ESPN
    • Chicago Bulls at Golden State Warriors, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, February 9
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8pm on TNT
    • Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30pm on TNT
  • Friday, February 10
    • Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards, 8pm on ESPN
    • Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Saturday, February 11
    • Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8:30pm on ABC
  • Sunday, February 12
    • San Antonio Spurs at New York Knicks, 3:30pm on ABC
    • Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors, 6pm on NBATV
    • New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings, 9pm on NBATV
  • Monday, February 13
    • Oklahoma City Thunder at Washington Wizards, 8pm on TNT
    • Atlanta Hawks at Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30pm on TNT

Cable TV Bills Going Up in 2017

Each year, due to inflation and other changes in the marketplace, services from cable TV providers and satellite TV providers tend to rise in price for the end consumer. The rise in cost has to do not only with inflation, but the rising costs providers face for carrying broadcast networks like CBS and Fox and the costs associated with carrying regional sports networks who have made big deals with local sports teams. According to Consumer Reports, here’s how your TV bill will be affected in 2017.

  • AT&T U-Verse: $2 to $8 more per month per package.
  • Cablevision/Altice/Suddenlink: 3.4 percent per month.
  • Comcast: $12 more per month.
  • Charter/Time Warner: pending upon adjustment of plan pricing for previous Time Warner customers.
  • Cox: 2 percent per video package.
  • Dish Network: $5 per month.
  • DIRECTV: Between $2 and $6 per month, plus $2.56 for regional sports networks in some but not all service areas.
  • Verizon: $3 per month.

Stay tuned to the TV, Internet and Phone Blog for more updates on pricing in the industry.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – January 31-February 6

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL regular season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, January 31. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, January 31
    • Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30pm on NBATV
  • Wednesday, February 1
    • Minnesota Timberwolves at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7pm on ESPN
    • Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder, 9:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, February 2
    • Atlanta Hawks at Houston Rockets, 8pm on TNT
    • Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm on TNT
  • Friday, February 3
    • Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics, 8pm on ESPN
    • Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Saturday, February 4
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks, 8:30pm on ABC
  • Sunday, February 5
    • Los Angeles Clippers at Boston Celtics, 2pm on ABC
  • Monday, February 6
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards, 7pm on TNT
    • San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies, 9:30pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.

Virginia Improving High Speed Internet Access for Students

Many students across the nation, especially those in rural areas, lack the access to high speed internet necessary for remaining competitive with students attending schools in areas that do feature high speed internet access. As more and more work, and applying for jobs, is done online, not to mention the amount of educational material available online for students to access, it is imperative to get students up to speed, as it were, no matter where they’re located.

The state of Virginia is making those advances. More from the Hampton Roads Business Journal:

Virginia has made significant progress in the ongoing effort to bring high-speed internet to more schools and students statewide according to a recently published report.

EducationSuperHighway’s annual “State of the States” report on K-12 broadband connectivity, found that 72 percent of Virginia school divisions now meet the Federal Communications Commission’s minimum Internet access goal of 100 kbps per student, which is up from 46 percent in 2015 and 33 percent in 2014.

In addition, this year’s report also found that 72 percent of Virginia school divisions meet the minimum connectivity goal of 100 kbps per student, a significant jump from 46 percent at this time last year, and 33 percent in 2014.

Stay up to date on the progress of EducationSuperHighway here at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – January 24-30

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL regular season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, January 24. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, January 17
    • San Antonio Spurts at Toronto Raptors, 7pm on NBATV
  • Wednesday, January 18
    • Golden State Warriors at Charlotte Hornets, 8pm on ESPN
    • Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, January 19
    • Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8pm on TNT
    • Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz, 10:30pm on TNT
  • Friday, January 20
    • Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, 8pm on ESPN
  • Saturday, January 28
    • Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors, 8:30pm on ABC
  • Sunday, January 29
    • Oklahoma City thunder at Cleveland Cavaliers, 3:30pm on ABC
    • Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers, 9pm on NBATV
  • Monday, January 23
    • Detroit Pistons at Boston Celtics, 8pm on TNT
    • Cleveland Cavaliers at Dallas Mavericks, 8:30pm on NBATV
    • Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns, 10:30pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.

ESPN Cancels ‘Sports Reporters’

Growing up, I can always remember Sunday mornings at my house always involved a few things—the only day of the week when the whole family ate breakfast together, political talk shows, and the ESPN equivalent to those political talk shows, The Sports Reporters. On the air since 1988, The Sports Reporters provided a panel for some of the top newspaper sports journalists to discuss issues related to sports, and occasionally much bigger topics. Now, after almost 30 years on the air, ESPN has decided to retire the show.

More from Sports Illustrated:

The long-running sports talk show began in 1988 and was a forerunner of the flood of shows that run in most major cities featuring members of the media debating, discussing and bloviating the news and issues of the week. What set the show apart—outside of many egoists that floated as panelists—was two hosts that gave the show gravitas: Dick Schaap, who hosted from 1989 to 2001; and John Saunders, who hosted from 2001 until his death in 2016.

ESPN will replace The Sports Reporters with an hour-long version of E:60, its long-running sports journalism magazine show. Outside The Lines is also expected to have a role in that show.

No panelist appeared on the show more than Mike Lupica, who is serving as the current host. Other sports media members who often took up residency included Mitch Albom, Bob Ryan, William C. Rhoden, the late Bryan Burwell, John Feinstein, and Bill Conlin, the disgraced Philadelphia columnist sports columnist who was accused of molesting children as far back as the 1970s prior to his death in 2014.

While the legacy of The Sports Reporters can be felt in lesser shows like First Take and whatever FS1’s version of First Take is calling itself this week, the original was often more quiet and thoughtful than what followed, and is a throwback to a time when newspaper journalists on cable TV was a novelty, rather than the norm. It will be missed.

Big Ten’s Cable TV Deal Gives the Conference Strength

The Big Ten conference, or B1G when it comes to logos and branding, is in a position of strength in relation to other NCAA athletic conferences, not necessarily because of the product on the field or the court, but because of its cable TV deals. The conference’s new TV deals put the Big Ten ahead of the SEC in terms of earnings from TV going into the future.

More from Awful Announcing:

By that analysis, the SEC would be making about $380 million ($255 ESPN/CBS plus $125 SEC Network) to the Big Ten’s $390 million from regular TV revenue before factoring in postseason play. That’s not a huge gap, especially when you consider that each league has 14 schools, but the new Big Ten deal at the very least puts the conference on pretty equal financial footing with the SEC, and perhaps slightly better footing.

Factoring in other conference-distributed revenue streams such as postseason play is how you get to those estimates of $43 million per school in 2017-18 (which would be $602 million total) and $54 million per school at the end of the contract in 2022-23 ($756 million total). The SEC could still come out ahead if it makes more from postseason play, and that’s certainly a possibility. Still,  the Big Ten seems to be in pole position here.

As these conferences, and the member schools, continue to make money hand over fist from these TV deals, it seems likely also that there will be a greater push from players—the people who actually play the sports that earn the conferences these lucrative TV deal—to see some part of that revenue. For now, though, the Big Ten and the SEC are big moneymakers and they have TV, and unpaid labor, to thank for it.

NBA National Cable TV Schedule – January 17-23

For many casual fans, the NBA season, though it actually began in late October, really begins to gain steam and interest on Christmas Day, when NBA games are showcased on broadcast and cable TV all day. With the NFL regular season having ended, many more fans will be tuning in to the NBA, so at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog we’re going to provide the national cable TV schedule for each week. Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week, beginning today, Tuesday, January 17. All times EST.

  • Tuesday, January 17
    • Houston Rockets at Miami Heat, 7:30pm on NBATV
  • Wednesday, January 18
    • Milwaukee Bucks at Houston Rockets, 8pm on ESPN
    • Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Thursday, January 19
    • Washington Wizards at New York Knicks, 8pm on TNT
    • Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30pm on TNT
  • Friday, January 20
    • Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets, 8pm on ESPN
    • Indiana Pacers at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30pm on ESPN
  • Saturday, January 21
    • San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers, 8:30pm on ABC
    • Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets, 9pm on NBATV
  • Monday, January 23
    • New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers, 8pm on TNT

DIRECTV channel listings: NBATV 216, ESPN 206, TNT 245.