Possible Bucks/Brewers Conflicts on FSN

As you may be aware, the NBA regular season ends on Wednesday, April 14.   Not coincidentally, the NBA playoffs begin on Saturday, April 17.  With a win over the Chicago Bulls on April 6, the Milwaukee Bucks qualified for postseason play for the first time since the 2005-2006 season.

So what does this have to do with the Brewers?  If you recall, the Brewers' second game of the season was not on FS Wisconsin because of the aforementioned Bucks-Bulls tilt.  Due to the relatively short overlap of regular seasons and some convenient day baseball, that was the only Brewers game not shown on FS Wisconsin in favor of the Bucks.  However, it may not be the last.

Unlike Major League Baseball, the NBA allows local broadcasters to televise first round playoff games, unless a national broadcaster has exclusive rights to the game.  I believe the only national broadcaster with exclusive rights in the first round is ABC.  In short, this means FS Wisconsin will have the option of televising Bucks playoff games.

Now, here comes some speculation.  I don't know the particulars of the broadcast contract FS Wisconsin has with the Brewers, but I have to assume if the network has the option of opting out for NBA playoff games, they will do so.  With the NBA's playoff schedule and the Bucks' first round opponent not yet determined, it is too early to guess which (if any) games FS Wisconsin would not be allowed to broadcast.  Given the series will be between two middle seeds, it is unlikely any game would have national appeal, but stranger things have happened.

Until we know more, let's go ahead and assume FS Wisconsin has the option of televising the first four games of the Bucks' playoff series.  If that's the case, the following playoff schedule would minimize conflict with the Brewers (all times CDT):

Game 1:  April 17 - The Brewers are in Washington at 12:05 PM.  Unfortunately, a low-priority Eastern Conference series would likely also start early in the day.  On the bright side, the first game may be nationally televised, especially if the Boston Celtics are involved.

Game 2:  April 19 - The Brewers have an off day.

Game 3:  April 22 - The Brewers play in Pittsburgh at 11:35 AM.  NBA playoff games are at night during the week.

Game 4:  April 24 - The Brewers play in Chicago at 6:10 PM and are slated to be on WMLW anyway.

Game 5 (if necessary):  April 26 - The Brewers host Pittsburgh at 7:10 PM.  This game would likely result in a conflict no matter which day.

Game 6 (if necessary):  April 28 - The Brewers host Pittsburgh at 12:10 PM.  See Game 3 regarding weeknight NBA games.

Game 7 (if necessary):  May 1 - The Brewers play in San Diego at 7:35 PM.  Given the likely shortage of Game 7s, this may be a night game as well, though possibly on national TV.

It is important to note the Bucks are missing their most important player, Andrew Bogut.  As good a story it would be for a rookie PG and a bunch of unknowns to push a playoff series to the limit, I don't see it happening.  I wouldn't be concerned beyond Game 5 until you have to be.

Obviously, this is just one of many, many, many different series alignments.  The NBA couldn't care less about FS Wisconsin's Brewers schedule or MLB in general, and why should it?  Also, FS Wisconsin may only televise one or two games, not four.  Still, if you're a Brewers fan who can't stand watching the NBA or a Bucks fan who wants to avoid hearing complaints, it would be hard to root against the listed schedule.

In any event, if you have plans to camp out and watch the Brewers on television over the next couple weeks, keep an eye on the Bucks playoff schedule.  If you don't, you may be rudely surprised.

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