Thursday, May 26

Why are there no NBA games on Thanksgiving? The NFL is unrivaled on Thursday night

Sorry, NBA fans. Everyone is going to have to spend Thanksgiving, breathing deeply here, talking to their families instead of watching basketball games.

After a 13-game slate on Wednesday night, there will be no games played on Thursday. The teams will be back in action on Friday, but why do all NBA players have the same day off so early in the season? Certainly some people sat and stared at the hoops as they annihilated fresh turkey and mashed potatoes.

Well the answer to that question is pretty simple.

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Why are there no NBA games on Thanksgiving?

The NBA has never officially stated why it stopped scheduling Thanksgiving games, but the logical explanation isn’t hard to come by: the NFL exists.

Yes, football has owned the fourth Thursday in November for several years. The NBA is simply not interested in getting into a ratings battle with the NFL, as the latter league has continued to generate monster numbers.

From Sports Media Watch analysis of the 2020 NFL Thanksgiving games:

Even with low sports scores, discouraged Thanksgiving traditions, a postponed game, and not a single team at .500, the NFL’s Thanksgiving games generated a massive audience.

The NFL Washington-Dallas Thanksgiving game averaged a rating of 12.0 and 30.33 million viewers on FOX, ranking as the most-watched show on television since the Super Bowl. Washington’s victory averaged more viewers than any non-NFL show since the 2017 Academy Awards (32.9 million) and any non-NFL sporting event since Game 7 of the 2016 World Series (Cubs-Indians: 40 , 05 million). …

Earlier in the day, Texans-Lions averaged 23.39 million on CBS, the least watched Thanksgiving afternoon game since 2009 (Packers-Lions: 21.99M) but still the fourth most watched game all season (not including Sunday games).

The NBA has employed a similar strategy when it comes to the award-winning “NBA on TNT” show, choosing to avoid showing online games this season at the same time as the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” broadcasts.

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NBA schedule after Thanksgiving

Do not worry. NBA action will be back soon. Here is the full program for the weekend.

Friday, November 26

Play Time (ET) National Television
Pistons vs. Clippers 3:30 pm
Timberwolves vs. Hornets 7 pm
Suns vs. Knicks 7 pm
Bulls against magic 7 pm
Raptors vs. Pacers 8 p. M.
Hawks vs. Grizzlies 8 p. M.
Wizards Against Thunder 8 p. M.
Celtics vs Spurs 8:30 pm
Bucks vs. Nuggets 9 p. M. NBA TV
Pelicans vs. Jazz 9 p. M.
Trail Blazers vs. Warriors 10 p. M.
Reyes vs. Lakers 10:30 pm

Saturday, November 27

Play Time (ET) National Television
Timberwolves vs. 76ers 6 pm
Knicks vs. Hawks 7:30 pm
Suns vs. Nets 7:30 pm NBA TV
Magic against Cavaliers 8 p. M.
Heat vs. Bulls 8 p. M.
Hornets vs. rockets 8 p. M.
Wizards vs. Mavericks 8:30 pm
Pelicans vs. Jazz 9 p. M.

Sunday November 28

Play Time (ET) National Television
Warriors vs. Clippers 3:30 pm
Bucks vs. Pacers 5 p. M.
Celtics vs. Raptors 6 pm
Reyes vs. Grizzlies 6 pm
Pistons vs. Lakers 9:30 pm

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