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NBA’s television partners scramble to fill slots, appease advertisers

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Great, more “CSI: New York.”

Among the many left scrambling without the NBA are television networks that normally would be beaming regular season games into our homes. They have to fill the space and they have to try and keep the advertisers who buy that space happy. National networks like TNT are forced to bring us more how-done-it crime dramas and offer advertisers other options, and regional sports networks are digging into their vaults for historic games.

In the end this will be about the money, eventually the league and teams are going to have to pay some people back. But right now it’s about filling the airtime. Everything is explained well in a New York Times story today.

Big media companies are likely to feel the chill, with months of empty television time that would typically be filled with N.B.A. games. ESPN and ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Company, and Time Warner’s Turner Sports pay a combined $1 billion a season for the rights to games. The N.B.A. drives ratings in the coveted 18- to 34-year-old male demographic that advertisers pay a premium to reach. And it gives cable networks leverage in negotiating carriage fees, or the price cable companies pay in order to offer subscribers a network.

The N.B.A. said on Tuesday that at the end of the current season it would discuss repayment to networks for fees associated with canceled games. If the entire season is wiped out, the league could add an additional year to Turner and Disney’s contract, which runs through the 2016 season….

The lockout could have a disproportionate impact on regional sports networks that rely on a hometown team’s games to bring in viewers and local advertisers. The MSG network, owned by the Madison Square Garden Company, typically has Knicks games three nights a week. It will now rely on shows that mix archival Knicks games with player interviews. MSG will still have live National Hockey League games.

TNT is giving us more “CSI: New York” right now. If they start having to give us a lot more “Leverage” that’s when we will all feel the pain.

Anthony Bennett moves around, dunks on Lakers’ Upshaw (VIDEO)

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If you believe there is a difference between being dunked on and being dunked around, this definitely falls in the latter category.

Still, it’s an impressive move by Toronto’s Anthony Bennett to make the move and dunk around Lakers’ big man Robert Upshaw during the Raptors’ 105-97 preseason win over the Lakers Thursday night.

Bennett only had four points, but Kyle Lowry had another impressive preseason outing with 25. He has looked sharp. Julius Randle had 17 for the Lakers on 7-of-10 shooting.

Report: Cavs sign Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas
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The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:

In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.