Friday, April 18, 2008

TNT To Stream NBA Western Conference Finals, Featuring Interactive Elements

For niche sports, live webcasts allow fans to watch sports they otherwise couldn't see. For big-time sports, going online increasingly offers a new way of looking at events you might have watched for years. That will happen with TNT's coverage of the NBA's Western Conference Finals — ABC/ESPN has this year's East showdown as conference finals alternate between the networks. "TNT Overtime" broadband channel on also airs new views of the Western Conference Finals. TNT's plan is to largely follow Turner Sports' online coverage that complemented its TV coverage of Major League Baseball playoffs on TBS last season and on TNT's NBA All-Star game this season. On the Western Conference Finals, fans will be able to vote for cameras to be focused, separately, on two players each quarter. Also, online users can choose to watch the game from a camera on the scoreboard above the court as well as from the cable-cam, suspended on a cable, that zips alongside the court. And because cyberspace is infinite, the TNT broadband channel will also carry looks of features, including on-site reports from TNT sideline reporters, player interviews, Charles Barkley rants and baby pictures of NBA players. (Being able to peruse baby pics of NBA athletes reminds you satellites really have improved our lives.) Another new way to watch the NBA playoffs this year: ESPN will simulcast its games on its ESPN360 broadband channel as well as on its cellphone service. Always good to watch replays on cellphones to see if refs really made the right call.

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