NBA, Turner Cable Net Team Up Online on Thursday

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If you’re into hoops — and it seems everyone is, these days, at least on the college front, the NBA’s online unit and Turner Network Television are into you, at least on Thursday:

TNT and NBA Digital Present an Interactive NBA Viewing Experience on

Thursday, March 25, LIVE from Chicago

Emmy-Award winning TNT Studio Team Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith to Call Game Together for the First Time Since 2001; NBA TV Team to Provide Pregame, Halftime, and Postgame shows in TNT’s Studio J in Atlanta

Fans will get inside access to the Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls game through live tweeting, special player and game camera feeds, exclusive HD Pocket Cam videos and more       

On Thursday, March 25, LIVE from Chicago, TNT and NBA Digital will team up for a special interactive edition of TNT NBA Thursday, fully integrating TNT, NBA TV and NBA.com. The coverage, which tips off at 8 pm ET, will be highlighted by TNT’s Emmy-Award winning studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith announcing the Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls game courtside from the United Airlines Arena. NBA TV’s Matt Winer, Kevin McHale and Chris Webber will be providing coverage from TNT’s studio J in Atlanta. Fans will get inside access through live tweeting, special player and game camera feeds, exclusive HD pocket cam videos and a live stream chat with McHale on NBA.com. The second game will feature the Dallas Mavericks versus the Portland Trail Blazers at 9:30 p.m. (ET), with Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Mike Fratello (analyst) courtside, with David Aldridge reporting.

The Heat-Bulls game will include a social media first for Turner Sports and will fully integrate TNT, NBA TV and NBA.com. The cross promotion will weave exclusive NBA.com content throughout the TNT telecast. Highlights include:

§         Twitter Integration: For the first time, a Turner Sports game announcer will use Twitter to share his thoughts throughout a telecast, with Smith providing a running courtside commentary from Chicago. On-site reporter Craig Sager will provide additional tweets from the Windy City, with Webber providing additional commentary and analysis of action on-and-off the court. Tweets will be featured on the NBA TweetMix Channel, http://www.nba.com/tweetmixx/.  TweetMix provides a real-time stream of tweets from talent and official league team accounts and features “chatter” and “links” tabs that aggregate all tweets with NBA-related terms.

§         Mosaic on NBA.com: TNT Overtime Extra, an interactive application, will provide a mosaic view allowing users to watch four exclusive camera angles at one time: 

-          Announcer Cam – A camera will be focused on the Inside crew throughout the game and, for the first time, fans will get live commentary from EJ, Kenny and Charles during select commercial breaks.

-          Player Cams (2) – Fans will vote each quarter for one player each from the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. An isolated camera will focus on the players.

-          Robo Cam – This camera, which is mounted above the backboard, will give unique perspectives of the action on the court.  

§         Exclusive HD Pocket Cam Videos: On Thursday, Johnson will take fans behind the scenes of TNT’s production meeting as he uses an HD pocket video camera to provide a peek into the inner workings of an Emmy award winning broadcast.

§         Live Stream Chat with Kevin McHale on NBA.com: The Hall of Famer will take questions from fans via Facebook and Twitter following halftime of the Mavericks – Trail Blazers game. 

§         Studio Swap: This marks the first time since 2001 that the EmmyÒ-award winning TNT studio team has called a game together. It’s also their first regular-season road trip since visiting New Orleans in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The NBA TV gang in Atlanta will provide pregame, halftime and postgame shows. Johnson will handle play-by-play duties, with Smith and Barkley serving as analysts. Barkley will also interview both coaches during the game.

“This is a great opportunity to combine the production resources and talent of TNT and NBA Digital to create an entertaining, innovative and immersive experience for viewers watching at home and following online,” said Jeff Behnke, senior vice president and executive producer for Turner Sports.

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About the Author

M. Kellner

Mark A. Kellner is a religion columnist.

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