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Olympic Basketball Schedules


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As expected, the U.S. gets their wishes... every men's and women's game is either at 8pm or 10pm Beijing time to accomodate NBC (similar to in Athens where the regular start time for U.S. Games was 7:30am Eastern Time).

I though when I ordered my tickets that all the USA games will be presented in the morning to be prime time in the U.S. (like they do for swimming and gymnastic finals). I was wrong.

Here's what I got (but I will probably go only to the 10th of august games)

Disapointed a little bit , I hope that QB will be Canada

Sunday, August 10 09:00 13:00 BK04 Basketball M Prelims Russia-Iran QB-Angola

Tuesday, August 12 09:00 13:00 BK10 Basketball M Prelims Iran-Lithuania QA-Russia

Thursday, August 14 09:00 13:00 BK16 Basketball M Prelims QB-Spain Australia-Iran

Saturday, August 16 09:00 13:00 BK22 Basketball M Prelims QC-Angola Russia-Australia

Monday, August 18 09:00 13:00 BK28 Basketball M Prelims Iran-QA Australia-Lithuania

Edited by Chateau Petrus
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It`s one of my favourite games but am only used to NBA. It`s surprising to note that I don`t even know that other countries are good in basketball than the Americans.

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Let me know if you interested in getting rid of your ticket on Mon 18 Aug BK28

Keep in touch.

I know for sure that I will be that morning at Table Tennis (never been interested by that sport before, but beeing in China, it's something I can't miss)

I have some friends of the australian team who might be interested to get my ticket.

(by the way, it's a B category)

I will let you know eventually

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Men's Schedule

Women's Schedule

As expected, the U.S. gets their wishes... every men's and women's game is either at 8pm or 10pm Beijing time to accomodate NBC (similar to in Athens where the regular start time for U.S. Games was 7:30am Eastern Time).

Quaker, you got it backwards. With the time zone changes (Beijing is 12 hours ahead of USA Eastern time), the USA matches under current schedule would have to live-air in the MORNING, USA time, not exactly the best slot if you want viewers. Of course, they could always tape delay for later broadcast, but that spoils the fun. NBC would rather have had the USA teams playing in Beijing in the morning, so live broadcasting could happen in USA evening of the previous day. Got it, sport?

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Quaker, you got it backwards. With the time zone changes (Beijing is 12 hours ahead of USA Eastern time), the USA matches under current schedule would have to live-air in the MORNING, USA time, not exactly the best slot if you want viewers. Of course, they could always tape delay for later broadcast, but that spoils the fun. NBC would rather have had the USA teams playing in Beijing in the morning, so live broadcasting could happen in USA evening of the previous day. Got it, sport?

this isn't the Dream Team days in Barcelona and Atlanta where preliminary round basketball games were worthy of getting shown in primetime. NBC has made it clear over the past couple of Olympics that team sports are best served for the cable networks and then the weekday afternoon coverage on the main network (which is why NBC is starting weekend afternoon coverage at 10am almost every weekend day). If a game was shown in the morning Beijing time and was made available for NBC primetime, do you think they'd show it over, say, live swimming or live gymnastics? Not a chance. NBC pushed to get the gold medal game for basketball to be played in the morning so that they could show it in primetime here, but that didn't happen (as such, NBC will still show it live at 3am ET). But they certainly didn't ask for that kind of treatment for the rest of the games.

For Athens, the majority of the US games were shown in the same slot (7:30am.. which made for live broadcasts on USA Network). I'm sure that wasn't a coincidence. Similarly for Beijing, again all of the US games (men's and women's) are in pretty consistent time slots, and it's probably no coincidence that it's around the same time slot in the US that the games were in Athens. So jiejie... you can argue where NBC is likely to get themselves the most viewers, but I think it seems pretty clear that NBC asked to get games in certain timeslots and got what they wanted.

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I do see your point about USA 2008 basketball not having the draw of the Dream Team with USA viewers. But I'm not so sure that showing swimming and gymnastics live during USA primetime is more lucrative for NBC (advertising revenue-wise) than basketball would have, even with less exalted teams. With this schedule coming out, NBC's choice of what to air live during US primetime doesn't seem to require much decision. I've never thought NBC had quite the universal scheduling power that lots of people seem to think it had.

With basketball, there's another consideration that is not apparent if you aren't here in China. It's a sport with LOTS of Chinese fans and is followed very intensely throughout the domestic and international seasons. While watching the Chinese national teams play is of course their #1 priority, Chinese basketball fans are generally keen to watch any team--Dream or Not--coming out of the USA, both mens and womens. Scheduling China games, and USA games in the afternoons and evenings provide more opportunity for Chinese to watch in person or via TV, compared to morning matches (due to work schedule habits here). All China's games both M and W are afternoon and evening. I admit to being a little surprised that the USA didn't have at least one or two games in the afternoon for each of the men and women's teams. Not surprised that these teams have zero morning schedule. Note that both M and W China vs USA matchups are evening ones, Beijing time. Since this schedule was issued, people are scrambling to find tickets for these matches--if you have same, you are sitting on top of a gold mine.

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I do see your point about USA 2008 basketball not having the draw of the Dream Team with USA viewers. But I'm not so sure that showing swimming and gymnastics live during USA primetime is more lucrative for NBC (advertising revenue-wise) than basketball would have, even with less exalted teams. With this schedule coming out, NBC's choice of what to air live during US primetime doesn't seem to require much decision. I've never thought NBC had quite the universal scheduling power that lots of people seem to think it had.

With basketball, there's another consideration that is not apparent if you aren't here in China. It's a sport with LOTS of Chinese fans and is followed very intensely throughout the domestic and international seasons. While watching the Chinese national teams play is of course their #1 priority, Chinese basketball fans are generally keen to watch any team--Dream or Not--coming out of the USA, both mens and womens. Scheduling China games, and USA games in the afternoons and evenings provide more opportunity for Chinese to watch in person or via TV, compared to morning matches (due to work schedule habits here). All China's games both M and W are afternoon and evening. I admit to being a little surprised that the USA didn't have at least one or two games in the afternoon for each of the men and women's teams. Not surprised that these teams have zero morning schedule. Note that both M and W China vs USA matchups are evening ones, Beijing time. Since this schedule was issued, people are scrambling to find tickets for these matches--if you have same, you are sitting on top of a gold mine.

Here's something to keep in mind from the standpoint of an American viewer... You look at sports like swimming or gymnastics or track & field, this is the biggest stage they get, so it's easier to advertise an athlete like Michael Phelps than it is, say, Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant who are about to play in the NBA Finals. Olympic basketball is a big deal, but I'm sure most players in the NBA (especially the American-born plays) would probably rather win an NBA title than an Olympic Gold Medal. That all said.. it will be a big deal if the United States is playing for the gold medal, but preliminary round basketball games are better served during other timeslots, where they can be shown in full and not have to contend with needed commercial space.

As for NBC's power.. this isn't like Seoul where it seemed the entire Olympic schedule was built around American television, most notably the opening ceremony. NBC fought for a lot and got a little, and you can be sure they won't make light of it in Beijing, especially the swimming events where I'm sure at the very least, the Australians will have their negative commentary on the switch.

Here is 1 thing that surprised me though, especially following the games in Athens where basketball is an immensely popular sport... all 5 of the Greece men's team's preliminary round games (plus their quarterfinal as well) were played in the same 10:15pm time slot, the last game of the day. Different story in Beijing where more of the games are in the afternoon. I hope that all those fans you speak with tickets to China's games don't turn into empty seats for games later in the day. Just because a ticket is sold doesn't mean there's gonna be a person in the seat, especially in the case of corporate sponsors. I hope that doesn't make FIBA and the organizers bad for making those scheduling decisions.

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<snip>

Here is 1 thing that surprised me though, especially following the games in Athens where basketball is an immensely popular sport... all 5 of the Greece men's team's preliminary round games (plus their quarterfinal as well) were played in the same 10:15pm time slot, the last game of the day. Different story in Beijing where more of the games are in the afternoon. I hope that all those fans you speak with tickets to China's games don't turn into empty seats for games later in the day. Just because a ticket is sold doesn't mean there's gonna be a person in the seat, especially in the case of corporate sponsors. I hope that doesn't make FIBA and the organizers bad for making those scheduling decisions.

I promise you, every seat that went on sale to the public will be filled, all the way up to the rafters. For EVERY game, morning, afternoon, evening no matter how late. I will bet my entire retirement fund on this. :lol: I also believe that for basketball, this will be also be the case for the Sponsors seating. I was flabbergasted to find out that even the sponsors aren't automatically getting a chunk of seats to play with as in previous Olympics--they have to go through BOCOG and request them. (for many of the sports and all the premier ones like basketball) And they are having trouble getting these requests granted. So I don't think the Sponsors are going to have any or many unused tickets to return to BOCOG or palm off through their own channels. They'll use everything they can get. However, lots of tickets in Category A best location, including basketball, seem to be "unaccounted for"--of course, they are heading out the Chinese back door to national and provincial Communist Party members, Peoples Liberation Army Generals, and similar. I believe not all of these seats will be filled by the people who were originally given the tickets, but after the "unwanted" ticket passes through a few sets of hands along with copious amounts of cash, somebody's rear end will end up occupying that basketball seat.

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I noticed the classification games aren't on the schedule. Are they actually going to be or did FIBA, the IOC, and BOCOG pulled a FIVB and, like in Athens, and decided not to have them? Because this schedule is from USA Basketball, there's an assumption that Team USA will not go that low, hence the absence of the classification.

Another thing to remember about NBC's ill-fated attempt to schedule basketball in prime time is the fact that the international basketball landscape has changed since Athens with the United States men no longer the most awed and feared team in the galaxy; if there were still cakewalks for them and the automatic presumption they will make it to gold, the IOC would be glad to schedule it on US primetime TV live. But there are other good teams out there in the world that will be competitive.

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I noticed the classification games aren't on the schedule. Are they actually going to be or did FIBA, the IOC, and BOCOG pulled a FIVB and, like in Athens, and decided not to have them? Because this schedule is from USA Basketball, there's an assumption that Team USA will not go that low, hence the absence of the classification.

Another thing to remember about NBC's ill-fated attempt to schedule basketball in prime time is the fact that the international basketball landscape has changed since Athens with the United States men no longer the most awed and feared team in the galaxy; if there were still cakewalks for them and the automatic presumption they will make it to gold, the IOC would be glad to schedule it on US primetime TV live. But there are other good teams out there in the world that will be competitive.

According to the official competition schedule from the Beijing website.. no classification games for men's or women's. The women's side is explainable, probably to give more of the players extra time to get back to their WNBA teams where necessary. As for the NBC scheduling aspect, I'm still convinced they got the schedule they wanted, save for the final not being available to them in primetime. Like you said.. it's no longer a foregone conclusion that the US Men will dominate (or even win) all of their preliminary round games, let alone make it to the gold medal game. At the very least, NBC probably would have been better off with the medal games late in the evening in Beijing and early in the morning in the US like the women's finals, and not buried in the middle of the night.

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Makes sense on the WNBA part as to why there's no clasisification matches since there's not going to be a recess like there was in 2004. NBC will be fine: If I missed the gold medal games live on TV if the USA plays in, I'll check it out on-demand on their website.

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Actually the WNBA is taking a break in its 2008 schedule. The last pre-Olympic games will be on 27 July with the season restarting on 28 August. The break is similar in length to the one taken in 2004.

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