Jazz TV program shows ultimate disrespect for small markets
It’s no secret that the NBA plays favorites. Despite their underperformance last season, the Nets, Knicks and Lakers all had several more nationally televised games than the Utah Jazz, who had a much better season. Much to the dismay of jazz fans, this upcoming season is no different.
The Jazz will play ONE nationally televised game against the Knicks at home on November 15. If the Jazz are trading Donovan Mitchell to New York, it makes sense to broadcast their homecoming. Otherwise, they are two mediocre teams playing a pretty meaningless game.
The Jazz have three games on NBA TV. In Portland on November 19, visiting the Clippers on the 21st and hosting the Wizards on December 22. The entire back section of the Utah program does not have nationally televised games.
So what gives? I understand that small market teams don’t usually make marquee events, but Utah has been in the playoffs for the past five seasons. Maybe it’s time to show some respect? Jazz host reigning MVP Nikola Jokic on opening night will then travel to Minnesota to take on Rudy Gobert and the Timberwolves. Both of these would make for good TV events.
On November 7, the Jazz host the Lakers at 8:15 a.m. Mountain Time. This seems like the perfect game for the NBA to broadcast on a Friday night in a TV slot. People want to see the Lakers, and the timing of the game would make for great viewing. But I guess the NBA has other ideas.
The Jazz, Spurs, Thunder, Kings, Magic and Pistons combine for five nationally televised games, excluding NBA TV appearances. The Thunder and Magic team up Nov. 1 on TNT, which makes sense given the number one and two picks in the 2022 NBA Draft are going head-to-head. The Spurs, Jazz, Kings and Pistons all get a game on ESPN or TNT. So much for the promotion of small market teams! I understand the Jazz and Spurs are starting a rebuild and may not make good TV, but these other teams are all young and exciting.
It might be time to invest in League Pass to watch Jazz, because there really isn’t an alternative for Jazz fans who don’t live in the SLC region.