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NBA.com To Enhance On-Air Playoffs Coverage
With the NBA playoffs set to tip-off today, Turner Sports and NBA.com are gearing up to give online fans the opportunity to sit in the director’s chair during select live games as part of its extensive online coverage of the playoffs.
NBA.com will compliment TNT’s on-air post-season coverage with its TNT OverTime broadband player, offering viewers multi-camera video feeds for several live playoffs telecasts. During those games, NBA.com will offer a player cam for each team that will allow users to follow their favorite NBA stars around the court. Site users can cast votes online for a player to watch during each quarter as part of the online video enhancement.
NBA.com will also offer a backboard cam and an action cam, which provide a range of on-the-court action. Viewers can choose to watch one camera feed or a mosaic featuring all the various camera feeds.
While Turner has yet to announce which of TNT’s telecasts will feature the online multi-camera offering during the first round of the playoffs, network officials say the service will be in place for at least eight second-round games and all of TNT’s Eastern Conference finals telecasts.
Now in its third year, the online multi-camera feature averaged 277,000 streams over 12 games during the 2010 NBA playoffs. Daniels is confident that NBA.com will increase those numbers this year, especially coming off a regular season campaign in which NBA.com generated a record number of streams.
More than 1.94 billion videos were viewed by fans during the season on NBA.com, a 140% increase from last year’s record season. Also, the site generated nearly 5.9 billion page views, topping last year’s numbers by 35%.
“Our philosophy behind [the multi-camera offering] is to not compete with television but to enhance it,” said Lenny Daniels, COO of Turner Sports. “Everything that we see is a positive impact – time spent viewing [during the TNT telecasts] is longer and it doesn’t detract from ratings whatsoever. It gives viewers more options.”
The online multi-camera offering is part of NBA.com’s extensive playoffs coverage, which includes dedicated pages for each playoff series that feature video highlights, box scores, series stats and game stories. The site will also offer live streaming of every post-game news conference and live blog updates with instant analysis and late-breaking news for each postseason game.
“You’re going to see a lot of talking and chatting online to go along with all of the enhanced video features,” Daniels said. “It’s just much more of an all-access type of offering for fans – everything we do on television you’ll see longer versions on the web.”
What you won’t see is live streaming of playoff games on the web. Daniels said any Turner online or mobile streaming of NBA games would be offered as part of Turner parent Time Warner’s “TV Everywhere” initiative, which is still in its early development stages.