I just happened to be watching SportsCenter this morning when they showed video of the 25th anniversary of Larry Bird vs. Dominique Wilkins dueling in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on May 22, 1988. In the postgame interviews, ESPN had its microphones in each guy’s face.
Ironically, ESPN, didn’t have the NBA rights in 1988. CBS was the network home of the NBA and Brent Musburger was the main voice; TBS was the cable partner. While Bird and Wilkins were dueling on TBS, ESPN was broadcasting ratings winners such as women’s bodybuilding and yachting.
For example, on Thursday, May 5, 1988 the cable giant showed a truck and tractor pull at 8:30 while TBS carried a first round NBA game between Dallas and Houston.
Angry that ESPN shows too much of Skip Bayless and Screamin’ A.? It could be worse, you could be left watching SpeedWeek at 7:30 on a Thursday night.