Finals Destination: Turner Sports, NBA TV Ramp Up Coverage
Having produced 1,400 total hours — including 190 hours of live studio content — for the NBA Playoffs, Turner Sports and NBA TV promise to increase their wall-to-wall coverage with the 2011 Finals in full swing.
While ESPN has exclusive rights to all of the games between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat, NBA TV is aiming to be the home of everything in and around the battle for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
“[What we’re most proud of is] the fact that we’re ever-present,” says Albert “Scooter” Vertino, VP of content, NBA Digital, for Turner Sports. “It’s so important for what we do and the level of this particular event that we are always here and that we cover every angle.”
The Finals coverage is highlighted by NBA TV’s pre- and post-game coverage of each game. The network’s 60-minute Autotrader.com Pregame Show: Live at the Finals is being broadcast live on-site throughout the series. After the completion of each game on ESPN, NBA TV goes back live for complete postgame coverage with NBA GameTime Presented by Hyundai: Finals Edition. Both shows will feature analysis by former NBA star Chris Webber and newly appointed Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale.
NBA Entertainment will also produce Playoff Playbacks, which will be one- and two-hour versions of each game that will re-air the day after the game on NBA TV.
Vertino raved about NBA Entertainment’s other project, Sounds of the Finals, an original series that follows players and teams on and off the court throughout the Finals. Two 30-minute programs will provide footage and audio from on the floor, in the huddle, and inside the locker rooms. Episodes are tentatively scheduled to air on Thursday June 9 and Saturday June 18, each at 7 p.m. ET.
“That is something that we are very excited to see,” says Vertino, “because NBA Entertainment gets unparalleled access and does a fantastic job with it.”
Vertino and Turner Sports are coming off a postseason run for the ratings record books this spring as TNT’s 40-game coverage of the NBA Playoffs were the most-watched in cable-television history. Broadcasts averaged a 3.5 U.S. household rating and attracted 5,534,000 total viewers and 3,999,000 households.