It’s not good news for ABC/ESPN and Turner, who own the lucrative national TV broadcast rights to the league’s games and reaps millions in advertising — even more of late as NBA ratings have grown during the past few years. And it’s no picnic for teams, who have been slashing staff in anticipation. Despite plenty of bargaining sessions during the past few days, little progress has been made on a new labor contract, and there seems to be no common ground on which to build. If the owners’ lockout holds, expect a lot of college basketball and football to fill in the programming gaps. Here’s the release that the league just put out:
NEW YORK — The NBA announced today that it has canceled the first two weeks of the 2011-12 regular season because a new collective bargaining agreement has not been reached with the National Basketball Players Association. This cancellation includes all games originally scheduled to be played through November 14.
“Despite extensive efforts, we have not been able to reach a new agreement with the players’ union that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship while fairly compensating our players,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said.
Refunds plus interest are available for all NBA season-ticket holders for all preseason and regular-season games that are canceled.