Upfronts 2013: ESPN Deportes to Air NBA FinalsSlates 'Road to Brazil' Programming; Unveils Hispanic App, ESPN Sync 5/15/2013 2:24 PM Eastern
New York -- Next month when ABC televises the 2013 NBA Finals, the pro basketball league's championship series will be presented by ESPN Deportes for the first time, the Spanish-language network announced here Wednesday evening during its upfront presentation.
The network said that a ESPN Deportes Sports Poll showed that 55% of Hispanic sports fans liked the NBA, ranking it among U.S. Latinos' top five sports. Last year's Finals were boosted by a 12% Hispanic viewership.
The Spanish-lanuguage sports net will also add more MLB games in 2014, when the new rights deal with the league kicks in. Home Run Derby, part of All-Star week, will also be on ESPN Deportes' roster.
ESPN Deportes will increase its futbol programming heavily, including an original slate called "Road to Brazil 2014" geared around next summer's World Cup.
The lineup will include a documetary series, Destino Brasil (Capitales del Futbol), a skein about popular soccer cities, and another documentary about the Mexico-United States rivalry, Gringos at the Gate. Dream Job: El Reportero's third season will center around the World Cup as well.
In addition, ESPN Deportes will increase its Liga MX and Copa MX coverage to 120 matches per season.
Later this year, ESPN Deportes will launch ESPN Sync, the first Spanish-language app. The web-based app will deliver a real-time, second- screen experience that the network says will be "synchronized" with live events. It will consist of social media elements as well.