When big moments in sports occur, ESPN goes all-in. The latest example will be the 2016 NBA Finals. The network announced on ESPN Media Zone their plans for covering this year’s championship series between the Golden State Warriors, and Cleveland Cavaliers, and once again they’re utilizing every platform available to connect to sports fans everywhere they turn.
The series itself will air exclusively on ABC. Weeknight games will start at 9pm ET. Sunday broadcasts will tip off at 8pm ET. Every game will include a 30-minute, on-site edition of NBA Countdown. The broadcast of every game will also be available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and via WatchESPN.
The television crew will consist of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Doris Burke. This will mark their record seventh NBA Finals as a full broadcast team – the most for an NBA Finals quartet on TV. Additionally, former NBA official Steve Javie will provide analysis from the NBA replay center in Secaucus, NJ.
On ESPN Radio, Hubie Brown will join play-by-play veteran Kevin Calabro, and reporters Marc Stein and Shelley Smith for each game. Marc Kestecher teams with Jon Barry on the network’s pregame and halftime studio coverage.
ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” will hit the road to broadcast live from Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday, June 8th, and Thursday, June 9th. “NBA Countdown” will also be on-site and feature the team of Sage Steele, Doug Collins and Jalen Rose. 10-time NBA All-Star and 2008 NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce is expected to appear as a guest analyst for select games.
The network also announced that the 6pm edition of SportsCenter will be extended and include a live presence. The network’s post-game version of SportsCenter will follow a similar gameplan. Stan Verrett and Neil Everett will hit the road for Game 1 and a combination of Verrett, John Buccigross and Steve Levy thereafter.
If that wasn’t enough, Rachel Nichols will travel and air her new program “The Jump” live from each city at 3:30pm ET. The network’s new digital venture “The Undefeated” will have a significant on-site presence, with Marc Spears covering the Warriors, and Jerry Bembry reporting on the Cavaliers. Mike Wise, and Monis Khan will supply commentary and social media engagement for the brand.