Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
ESPN, ABC, NBA expand eight-year agreement
ESPN, ABC and the NBA have significantly expanded their global relationship.
The new pact will feature more exclusivity in the postseason on ESPN as well as expanded TV and digital media rights for ESPN International. The deal also includes enhanced TV coverage in an eight-year extension beginning in 2008-09, said George Bodenheimer, ESPN president.
Under the terms of the new deal, the NBA will deliver content for 17 ESPN platforms, including: ABC, ABC HD, ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile Publishing, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPNU and ESPN podcasts. The deal will also cover all new platforms ESPN creates or develops relationships with through the end of the agreement in 2016.
ABC will broadcast a minimum of 15 regular season games beginning on Christmas and continuing on Sunday afternoons starting in January. In addition, the maximum number of regular season appearances on ABC by the league’s top teams has been increased.
The postseason on ABC will include a minimum of 15 scheduled games, including the entire best-of-seven NBA Finals. All of ABC’s telecasts will continue to have time-period and broadcast exclusivity.
ESPN and ESPN2 will televise up to 75 regular season games — primarily on Wednesday and Friday nights. ESPN will also televise up to 29 playoff games, feature exclusive TV coverage in the Conference Semifinals and showcase exclusive coverage of one of the best-of-seven Conference Finals each year. In addition, ESPN will televise exclusive coverage of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, the NBA Draft and NBA Draft Lottery each season, and feature coverage of the yearly NBA Pre-Draft Camp via ESPNU.