It may be the heart of football season, but it's clear that the 76ers are making a splash on the local sports scene.
Comcast SportsNet's broadcast of Tuesday night's preseason opener drew a 1.6 rating, the highest rating for a preseason game since the 2011-12 season.
Much of the interest, of course, came from the game being Joel Embiid's debut in a 76ers uniform after being injured for the last two seasons. It was also Dario Saric's first game for the team.
CSN carried a simulcast of its sister station in Boston, Comcast SportsNet New England. That raised some eyebrows among fans who weren't expecting it, but corporate parent NBC Sports Group has made sharing of resources among its channels a more common practice in recent times.
For example, during the Stanley Cup playoffs in recent years, NBCSN has carried simulcasts of Comcast SportsNet broadcasts in markets with participating teams such as the Flyers, Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks.
CSN Philadelphia's regular crew of Marc Zumoff, Alaa Abdelnaby and Molly French will have the call of Thursday's home opener against the Washington Wizards, in which Embiid is expected to play in Philadelphia for the first time. That broadcast will be simulcast to Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic's viewers in the Washington-Baltimore region.
When the Sixers go to D.C. next Thursday, Oct. 13, CSN Philadelphia will simulcast CSN Mid-Atlantic's broadcast, with announcers Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier.
CSN Philadelphia will also televise the 76ers' final home preseason game, against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, Oct. 15.