ESPN, NBATV to keep extra Heat broadcasts despite end of losing streak

USA TODAY Sports

The networks will still broadcast four upcoming Heat games.

As Ben Cafardo, a rep for ESPN, told me, the Heat are still the "defending champs and one of the most popular teams in the sport, even without the streak."

Representatives for both ESPN and Turner Sports confirmed to me that both The Worldwide Leader and NBA TV (part of NBA Digital, the NBA's extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports) will keep upcoming extra Miami Heat broadcasts, despite their 27-game winning streak ending last night. The Chicago Bulls snapped the second-best run of victories in NBA history, with a 101-97 win Tuesday over Miami at the United Center. ESPN televised that game.

Now, ESPN and NBATV are left with some superfluous broadcasts, but they are of the Heat, unquestionably the most star-laden team in the NBA, and one of the most potent, ratings-wise. NBA TV will air Heat home games on Friday against the Hornets and Sunday against the Spurs. The games will be blacked out on NBA TV in Miami.

ESPN will hang on to the games that would've ended with the Heat tying the 1971-72 Lakers. They'll show the Heat's road game against the Charlotte Bobcats on April 5 and when they return home the next night to play the Philadelphia 76ers. The latter game represents a rare Saturday night NBA game for the network.

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