SBD/Issue 32/NBA Season Preview

NBA Media Notes: Turner Introducing New Version Of League Pass

BROADCASTING & CABLE's George Winslow reports Turner Sports and the NBA this season are offering a "triple-play" version of NBA League Pass that "will make out-of-market pro basketball games available on all three screens -- TV, broadband and mobile -- for one price." Cablevision, Cox and Dish Network have "agreed to carry" the package, and Turner is "still in negotiations with other operators." This season marks the first time NBA League Pass "will be available on all three screens," but the development is the "culmination of a long-standing Turner strategy to converge the way sports rights are acquired and distributed" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 10/25 issue).

FOLLOW THE LEADERS: today will debut Heat Or 3Peat?, a season-long inside look at the Heat and Lakers that will chronicle each team’s journey through the eye of two sports journalists following each team. Former K.C. Star reporter Bill Reiter will cover the Heat and the Lakers' beat will be covered by former N.Y. Times reporter Billy Witz. The project is being conducted in conjunction with FS Florida and FS West. That comes after ESPN earlier this month launched The Heat Index, a section of the website devoted to the Heat (THE DAILY).

Walton Will Make Broadcasting
Return With Kings This Season

MISSING THE GAME: In Memphis, Marlon Morgan notes Dish Network as part of its dispute with News Corp. has dropped FS Tennessee and SportSouth, the Grizzlies’ “sole network home.” Grizzlies Senior VP/Broadcast Randy Stephens “did not know what percentage of Grizzlies viewers subscribed to Dish Network,” but he said that satellite viewers “account for about 30 percent of the market, with most of those being DirecTV subscribers” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/26).

MIC CHECK: The Kings have added Jim Gray as a sideline reporter for 20 games this season, and Basketball HOFer Bill Walton will work as a “special contributor for 10 games, pitching in on radio and TV.” Kings VP/Broadcast Operations & Production Craig Amazeen said, “When you can add quality people with supreme talent, and you can put them into your mix, even if it’s for 20 games or 10 games, it’s very valuable.” Amazeen added that the Kings will produce a “Jim Gray interview series,” in which Gray will interview “prominent athletes and people with a national and even international appeal.” CSN Bay Area will “broadcast some of the interviews at halftime and produce longer forms for the Kings’ website” (Matt Kawahara, SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/26).

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