WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Washington Wizards tipping off the second round of the NBA Playoffs Monday night against the Pacers brings an abrupt halt to the hometown call for Wizards fans, with usual play-by-play announcers Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier now handing announcing duties off to network television.
Upon release of the second-round schedule, Wizards fans unaccustomed to NBA Playoffs broadcasting standards — which awards exclusive television rights to major networks, like ESPN and TNT, beginning in the second round — were noticeably distraught at the sight that CSN Washington would no longer be carrying the games.
Buckhantz became inundated over the weekend with Tweets like these:
@SteveBuckhantz not doing the Wiz series! 😡😡😡—
Alex Clore (@_Clore) May 05, 2014
@SteveBuckhantz watching the games won't be the same!—
FahimTHEdream/VCU (@DCsportsFan2110) May 05, 2014
Matthew Gilpin (@sweatpants4ever) May 05, 2014
The lesson: Phil and Buck are D.C. treasures, and although fans may sympathize with them having the call ripped away after 87 games, the decision truly is out of their hands.
If you need your fix, you’ll still be able to see the duo in the pre- and post-game broadcasts on CSN, beginning one hour before each game.
“It’ll be a little bit surreal, because we’ll be doing this from the studio obviously in Bethesda,” Buckhantz told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and DannyRouhier on Monday, noting Chris Miller will be on-location reporting live from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“Just surreal because for 82 games you’re sitting basically courtside watching and being involved, and now you’re watching somebody else do your team,” Buckhantz said. “It’s not quite fair, but it is what it is.”
“But nevertheless, we’re happy to be involved,” he said. “We will be there, like you said, pre-game and again post-game, so all the nice fans who have been Tweeting, saying, ‘Hey, how come you guys aren’t doing the games?’ or ‘How come CSN isn’t doing the games?’ It’s a network thing. They pay for exclusive rights in the second round, on, and so we’re not allowed to televise, but we can give you in-depth coverage pre- and post- and that’s what we’ll do.”
Buckhantz seemed to appreciate the support from Wizards fans. You can follow him here.