ABC, ESPN Set NBA Finals Coverage
ABC will begin its exclusive coverage of the 2009 NBA Finals Thursday at 9 p.m. ET with game one from Los Angeles, where the Orlando Magic will take on the Lakers. And the match-up of superstars Dwight Howard (Magic) and Kobe Bryant (Lakers) will keep ESPN’s various platforms busy, as well.
ABC will air the GMC NBA Countdown pregame show 30 minutes prior to every telecast, following a special 30-minute edition of The Jimmy Kimmel Show each night.
Each ABC telecast will also feature: the “Hall of Fame” opening; in-game interviews with coaches, who will also be wired for sound; pregame and halftime locker-room access; 32 HD cameras, double the 16 used for regular-season games; SkyCam; Player Track, an on-screen graphic used during select replays to emphasize player movement during a particular play; Ultra Mo, a replay device operating at 250 frames per second; and ESPN Axis, which creates virtual replays with video from live action processed via PCs to create virtual freeze-frames from multiple angles.
Play-by-play will be handled by Mike Breen, with analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke. Stuart Scott will host GMC NBA Countdown from the site of each game, with analysts Magic Johnson, Jon Barry, and Michael Wilbon.
As for ESPN:
• Flagship show SportsCenter will provide news and information, analysis, and highlights throughout the Finals, with the 6 p.m. edition expanding to two-and-one-half hours June 4, 9, 11, and 16.
• ESPN2 will air special Sounds of the Playoffs Presented by Right Guard Tuesday at 10:30 p.m.
• ESPN will air Sounds of the Finals Presented by Right Guard Friday, June 12 at 9 p.m., giving fans a closer look at the first four games of the series.
• ESPN.com will feature a special NBA Finals page with previews, predictions, scouting reports, video highlights, stats, Insider breakdowns and trend spotting, injury reports, series history, schedules, TV listings, and brackets.
• ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national coverage, with Mike Tirico handling play-by-play and Basketball Hall of Famers Hubie Brown and Dr. Jack Ramsay serving as analysts. ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ric Bucher will be the on-site reporter, and Marc Kestecher will serve as studio host.
• ESPN International will broadcast the Finals in the Pac-Rim, sub-Saharan Africa (Atlantic), Caribbean, Brazil, DOS Mexico, Latin South, Australia HD, and Brazil HD.
• Alvaro Martin and Carlos Morales will provide NBA Finals updates on ESPN’s Spanish-language edition of SportsCenter on ESPN Deportes, as well as on ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPNDeportes.com.
• ESPN Classic will feature an NBA Finals marathon Wednesday-Thursday from 2 p.m.-midnight.
• On the mobile front, ESPN MVP will offer one-touch access through its sideline application to breaking news, game analysis and features, while ESPN Mobile Web will continue to provide live coverage of the NBA with news and analysis.
• Broadband service ESPN360.com will offer replays of each Finals game, available starting at 2:30 a.m. each night through noon the following day.
The 2009 NBA Finals schedule:
Thursday, June 4, 9 p.m., game one, Orlando at Los Angeles
Sunday, June 7, 8 p.m., game two, Orlando at Los Angeles
Tuesday, June 9, 9 p.m., game three, Los Angeles at Orlando
Thursday, June 11, 9 p.m., game four, Los Angeles at Orlando
Sunday, June 14, 8 p.m., game five, Los Angeles at Orlando (if necessary)
Tuesday, June 16, 9 p.m., game six, Orlando at Los Angeles (if necessary)
Thursday, June 18, 9 p.m., game seven, Orlando at Los Angeles (if necessary)