Sunday slate puts NBA in prime time, not bed time, in Europe

NEW YORK (AP) — Sundays aren’t just for touchdowns and tailgates anymore.

While NFL football rules the day in the U.S., European fans are tuning in to the NBA in big numbers for a rare chance to catch live action and still get a good night of sleep.

The league expanded its schedule of Sunday afternoon starts this season, with 20 of the 23 games tipping off at 3:30 p.m. ET. That’s 9:30 p.m. in Spain, home of the European champions and a devoted fan base.

Matt Brabants, NBA senior vice president of global media distribution and business operations, said the games have become “appointment viewing” for fans in the 114 countries and territories in Europe, Africa and the Middle East who will see Minnesota visit Phoenix on Sunday.