NBA D-League and VERSUS Ink Deal

Former New Jersey Nets guard Rafer Alston played for the Mobile Revelers in the D-League's second season (Getty Images).

NBA’s Minor League Continues its Development

New York (Thursday, January 28, 2010) – The National Basketball Association Development League (NBA D-League) made a major announcement earlier this month that it had come to an agreement with VERSUS to air 16 NBA D-League games this season. Two match-ups into the TV schedule, VERSUS will broadcast a total of 10 regular season contests and six postseason games this year.

“Teaming up with VERSUS provides us with another great outlet to showcase the incredible talent of the NBA D-League throughout the season,” said Dan Reed, President of the NBA D-League. “Last season, 20 percent of NBA players had NBA D-League experience and, through this agreement with VERSUS, more fans than ever will have the opportunity to see many future NBA players in action.”

Broadcasts, which are also available in high-definition, take place on Saturday nights at 11:00 p.m.

“We are very excited to announce this new partnership with the NBA D-League and to have the opportunity to showcase the league’s future stars to a national audience,” said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and Business Operations for VERSUS. “As we do with all of our partners, we also look forward to super-serving basketball fans by surrounding the high-paced NBA D-League game action with many hours of complementary NBA programming.”

The NBA D-League launched in 2001 and is amid its tenth season of operation. The league currently consists of 16 teams, and it became an official farm system to the NBA in 2005 under the direction of NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Further expansion efforts are underway for the NBA D-League, with the most enticing region for Northeast residents being the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey. The league currently has a hole in the Northeast region, which is obviously due to the dominating presence of the NBA in the major metropolitan area. Trenton is an interesting market in that the Sun National Bank Center is located in the middle of a travel hub that includes bus, train and interstate traffic. The seating at the Sun National Bank Center is about 8,500 spectators, which is a perfect setting for any sports team that is not included in the stereotypical big four of the “major leagues.”

The community itself is very supportive of its Trenton Devils, ECHL club and NHL affiliate, and Trenton Thunder, who are the AA affiliate of the New York Yankees. The Sun National Bank Center has played host in the past to postseason college basketball as well. While all hopes of Trenton landing an NBA D-League franchise are far from concrete, there is no doubt that the game has a perfect home awaiting it the state capital of New Jersey.

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