ESPN, ABC to assist covering games

NEW YORK — The U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team will play its exhibition games on ESPN and ABC, while NBC will carry all of the team’s games during the official drive for a gold medal in Athens.

ESPN announced Monday that it will air five of the team’s six exhibition games between July 31 and Aug. 10, handing off the Aug. 8 game between the U.S. and Turkey to sister network ABC. NBC takes over during the Summer Olympic Games from Athens (Aug. 13-29).

ESPN’s first exhibition cablecast will be live July 31 at 1 p.m. ET when the the U.S. takes on Puerto Rico at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., where the U.S. team will set up training camp July 26.

The next two afternoon cablecasts originate live on ESPN from Cologne, Germany: Aug. 3 vs. Italy and Aug. 4 vs. the German national team.

The first primetime game on ESPN on Aug. 6, pitting the U.S. against Serbia-Montenegro, will be tape-delayed from Belgrade.

After ABC covers the Aug. 8 game between the U.S. and Turkey, ESPN will wrap up the exhibitions with a live game Aug. 10 between the same teams.

All six of the games will get repeat cablecasts on NBA TV, and ESPN2 will pick up day-later repeats of the Aug. 4 and Aug. 10 games.

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