Television network ESPN and the NBA 2K League today announced that league games will be broadcast on the ESPN2 network and other ESPN platforms throughout the 2020 season.
Tuesday night games will be broadcast on ESPN2 starting tonight and through May 19th, with further telecast details still to be announced for dates thereafter.
Meanwhile, matches played on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will be streamed live via the ESPN app and ESPN.com. The ESPN2 broadcasts mark the first-ever telecast for NBA 2K League matches in the United States. Matches will also air on ESPN2 or one of ESPN’s digital platforms in the Caribbean, Latin America, Oceania, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Separately, the NBA 2K League also announced today that its matches will air live on Canada’s Sportsnet One and Sportsnet NOW platforms on Tuesday nights. Similar to the ESPN deal, this will mark the first broadcast of league gameplay in Canada.
In addition to these new platform announcements, NBA 2K League matches will also continue to be broadcast on Twitch and YouTube.
The NBA 2K League begins its third season today, with all 23 teams playing online matches from their home markets due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Teams will play best-of-three matches, and the broadcasts will shift between active matches. The season will have “at least six weeks of remote gameplay,” according to a league FAQ, depending on the status of the pandemic.
In previous seasons, matches were played live in-studio in New York City. The 2020 season was originally slated to begin in March in a larger Manhattan studio that could accommodate up to 200 fans, but those plans were scuttled due to the impact of COVID-19.
Esports Insider says: This is a perfect opportunity for the NBA 2K League to reach a lot more viewers, and as we’ve seen with other esports based on traditional sports, it’s an ideal way for networks like ESPN and Sportsnet to fill the massive voids in their programming calendars right now.