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TNT tips off the 2011-12 NBA season on Christmas Day with the Celtics @ Knicks

TNT will tip off the 2011-12 NBA season with a Christmas Day game featuring the Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks on Sunday, Dec. 25 at Noon (ET). A special hour-long edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com precedes the season’s first game at 11 a.m. (ET). The show will feature studio host Ernie Johnson and analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, along with the TNT debut of 15-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal previewing the day’s action. Following the pre-game show, the 2011-12 NBA season will get underway with Paul Pierce and the Celtics visiting Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks at Noon (ET) live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) will be courtside calling the action, with Craig Sager reporting.

The complete press release is included after the jump.

TNT Tips off the 2011-12 NBA Season on Christmas Day with the Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks at Noon (ET)

Shaquille O’Neal makes his TNT debut alongside Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith
on NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com at 11 a.m. (ET)

TNT will tip off the 2011-12 NBA season with a Christmas Day game featuring the Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks on Sunday, Dec. 25 at Noon (ET). A special hour-long edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com precedes the season’s first game at 11 a.m. (ET). The show will feature studio host Ernie Johnson and analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, along with the TNT debut of 15-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal previewing the day’s action. Following the pre-game show, the 2011-12 NBA season will get underway with Paul Pierce and the Celtics visiting Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks at Noon (ET) live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) will be courtside calling the action, with Craig Sager reporting.

“We are excited to tip off the start of the 2011-12 NBA season,” said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. “Our talented roster of marquee announcers and analysts represent the very best in the business and they are ready to again inform and entertain our viewers throughout the season. I’m also looking forward to seeing Shaquille join our acclaimed studio team. His experience and insights as one of the game’s great players will be the perfect complement to Ernie, Kenny and Charles.”

TNT will serve as the exclusive home for NBA All-Star 2012 and is slated to air all the action on NBA All-Star Friday, NBA All-Star Saturday and the 2012 NBA All-Star Game from Orlando, Feb 24-26. The network also will air 40+ NBA playoff games this year including, on an exclusive basis, conference semi-finals and the Western Conference Finals.

Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and online sports programming, airing championship level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular sports sites on the Internet. Turner Sports’ television line-up includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf. The company’s digital portfolio includes SI.com, NASCAR.COM, NCAA.com, PGATOUR.COM, GOLF.com and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 100.5 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle; Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer;

Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; Hawthorne, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Memphis Beat, with Jason Lee; and Southland, from Emmy-winning producer John Wells (ER). TNT also presents such powerful dramas as The Mentalist, Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and, starting next year, Castle; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. TNT is available in high-definition.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., CNN International, CNN.com and HLN; TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies; Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim; and Turner Sports.

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