NBA Basketball Is Coming to Saturday Nights on ABC

8-game slate begins Jan. 23

ABC is opening up another night of NBA action, adding Saturday games for next season.

The eight-game slate will tip off Jan. 23, 2016 and run twice a month through the rest of the season, with games starting at 8:30 p.m. ABC is coming off its most-watched NBA Finals since it began airing the NBA in the 2002-2003 season. Nearly 20 million viewers watched the Golden State Warriors capture their first title in 40 years, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games.

Under its current rights deal with the NBA—which expires after next season—ABC was scheduled for 16 games. Instead of airing doubleheaders on Sundays, ABC will now air one on Saturday nights and one on Sunday afternoons. Per usual, ABC's NBA slate begins with its Christmas Day doubleheader.

"We expect to establish this series as a big-game destination for NBA fans, along the lines of what we've accomplished in college football with Saturday Night Football on ABC," said ESPN president John Skipper.

ABC and ESPN will now combine to televise NBA games four days per week: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.