ESPN Moving ‘NBA Countdown’ Back To L.A.; Announces Programming Changes For ‘SportsCenter,’ Other Shows

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s NBA Countdown is headed back to the West Coast.

The network’s flagship NBA studio show is returning to ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center for its upcoming season.  The change is in line with ESPN’s new NBA post-game show NBA After The Buzzer, which will feature the NBA Countdown broadcast team.

The return of NBA Countdown to its Los Angeles studio marks the first time since the 2010-2011 season that it has aired from the West Coast.  It moved to the East Coast in the 2011-’12 season and has been there ever since.

Along with the announcement of the show’s move back to Los Angeles, ESPN also announced that Michelle Beadle will leave her job as host of ESPN’s weekday morning show Get Up! and will expand her role in ESPN’s NBA coverage.  Her last appearance on Get Up! will be August 29.

Connor Schell, ESPN Executive Vice President of Content, said he was optimistic about the changes coming to ESPN’s NBA coverage, including the extension of Beadle’s contract and the expansion of her role in the network’s NBA coverage.

“We are extremely excited to launch ESPN’s first ever NBA post-game show,” Schell said.  “We’re doubling down on our NBA studio content at a time when the NBA is red hot and fan interest continues to surge, and we are doing it with Michelle, as she is so important to our coverage.  As the basketball world looks to L.A. with renewed interest, we’ll be right there to cover it.”

As an added bonus for audiences, the increased interest in the NBA noted by Schell has also led ESPN officials to expand The Jump, ESPN’s daily Los Angeles-based NBA studio show hosted by Rachel Nichols, to a full one-hour format.

Other changes that are being made at ESPN, partly due to the network’s changes in its NBA coverage include the expansion of Get Up! to a two-hour show starting Sept. 3.  Starting on that day, it will air from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. ET.  Mike Greenberg will still host the show and Jalen  Rose will also stay on as co-host on days when he does not have to appear on NBA Countdown.

Maria Taylor, Laura Rutledge, Diana Russini and Jen Lada — each of whom has served as guest host on Get Up! — will all continue to serve as contributors to the program.

During football season, ESPN’s NFL and college football commentators will appear on Get Up! in its expanded time slot.  That list of talent includes: Ryan Clark, Victor Cruz, Paul Finebaum, Dan Orlovsky, Jesse Palmer, Louis Riddick, Rex Ryan, Adam Schefter, Marcus Spears, Jonathan Vilma and Damien Woody.

One more change coming to the ESPN networks involves ESPN Radio’s Golic & Wingo.  Along with continuing on ESPN Radio, it will be simulcast on ESPN2 and ESPNEWS from 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. before moving solely to ESPNEWS from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.  This move is also set to happen on Sept. 3.

By connection, SportsCenter will continue to air on ESPN2 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

More information on these changes is available online now along with all of ESPN’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.espn.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

 

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ESPN Networks To Offer Extensive NBA Finals Coverage

Courtesy: ESPN

ABC will have full coverage of this year’s NBA Finals.

The stage is set for this year’s clash of the champions as LeBron James and the defending NBA Champion Cavaliers facing Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors for this year’s title.  ABC, which is part of the ESPN family of networks, will carry full coverage of this year’s championship series between the teams starting Thursday, June 1 at 9 p.m.

The full schedule for this year’s NBA Finals is noted below.

NBA Finals on ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes & ESPN App:

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Thu, June 1

9 p.m.

Game 1: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors

Sun, June 4

8 p.m.

Game 2: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors

Wed, June 7

9 p.m.

Game 3: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers

Fri, June 9

9 p.m.

Game 4: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers

Mon, June 12

9 p.m.

*Game 5: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors

Thu, June 15

9 p.m.

*Game 6: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers

Sun, June 18

8 p.m.

*Game 7: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors

*if necessary

Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Doris Burke will call the series for its eighth consecutive year together.  Steve Javie will also be on hand offering analysis on the game’s officiating.

This year’s NBA Finals marks the third straight year that the Cavs and Warriors have vied for the league’s top spot.  It marks the 15th consecutive year that ESPN has produced the NBA Finals on ABC.  The series will be simulcast on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and online via the ESPN app.

Marc Kestecher will anchor ESPN Radio’s broadcast of the series alongside Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Marc Stein.  This year is ESPN Radio’s 22nd consecutive year covering the NBA Finals.  Kevin Winter and analyst Jon Barry will provide pre-game coverage live on-site leading up to each game.

ESPN’s The Jump and NBA Countdown will provide additional NBA Finals coverage throughout the series.  The Jump will air on-site throughout the series from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. while NBA Countdown will air before each game and during halftime.  The pre-game show will be evenly split between ESPN and ABC.

As if that is not enough coverage, ESPN’s First Take will also offer its own special coverage with several special prime-time broadcasts.  ESPN3 will also offer a second-screen digital look at pre-game warm-ups, post-game press conferences and much more.

ESPN International will broadcast each game internationally in Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean and Pacific Rim region.

More information on ESPN and ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

 

 

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Craig Sager To Make Special Appearance At ABC’s NBA Finals Game 6 Broadcast

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ABC’s broadcast team is going to have a special guest Thursday night when it broadcasts Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager will join the team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Doris Burke in Thursday night’s broadcast.  The special one-night-only appearance will see Sager join Burke courtside throughout the game’s broadcast on ABC.  This is a very special one-night-only appearance for Sager alongside Burke and company, who are normally competition to Turner Sports.

Sager has released a statement noting his honor at being invited to join Breem and company for Thursday night’s broadcast and his intent to add to the broadcast, not distract from it.  “I’d like to thank Turner and ESPN for approaching me with this tremendous opportunity to be part of The Finals broadcast team,” he said.  “I’ve been watching the series very closely and, while I do not want to distract in any way from the event itself, I look forward to being in the building for what will be an incredibly exciting Game 6.  The NBA community is a very special one and this is a great honor.”

John Wildhack is ESPN Executive Vice President of Production and programming.  He espoused Sager’s reputation as an NBA broadcaster in bringing him in for the broadcast in his own statement.  “Craig is an iconic member of the NBA family who indelibly makes his mark on each and every broadcast. I know our entire team is delighted to work with Craig for Game 6. We all agree his professional reputation is second-to-none, though it’s his personal reputation – that of class, selflessness and respect – which makes this even more special for our team. We hope that this will be a special night for Craig and for NBA fans.”  Wildhack was also certain to note Sager’s interest in the opportunity for bringing him on board for the broadcast as well as his [Wildhack’s] respect for those at Turner Sports in arranging Sager’s appearance.  “We are grateful for his interest and for the continued collaboration with our friends at Turner.”

Sager has worked with Turner Sports for 34 years.  He joined the company in 1982.  This summer he will be honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at The 2016 ESPYS presented by Capital One on ABC.  ESPN’s annual awards broadcast, it is scheduled to air Wednesday, July 13th on ABC.  Sager was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014.

Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals will be available on television on ABC and ESPN Deportes, on radio via ESPN Radio, and online via WatchESPN.  Coverage begins at 8:30pm ET with NBA Countdown on ABC.  More information on this new announcement is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.om

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espnnba

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Cavs, Warriors Take The Spotlight In ESPN Networks’ NBA Coverage This Week

 

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and the ESPN networks have another busy week of basketball ahead of them this week.

Officials with ESPN announced today the networks’ NBA broadcast schedule.  This week’s schedule kicks off tonight with a cross conference showdown between the Rockets and the Cavaliers.  LeBron James and the Cavaliers play host tonight to James Harden and the Houston Rockets in the Quicken Loans Arena.  The game will air live on ESPN Radio with Marc Kestecher on the call.  He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary.  Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm ET.  Cleveland has already clinched the Central Division in the East, and also sits atop the conference, three games ahead of second place Toronto.  A win tonight for Cleveland will hold that lead while a loss will allow the Raptors to close that gap just a little bit more.  Tonight’s game means just as much for Houston.  That is because the Rockets currently sit at the bottom of the Western Conference’s playoff ladder.  A win could potentially keep them in the hunt for the seventh spot on the ladder.  That spot is currently held by the Jazz.

After taking a couple of days off, the action picks back up Friday with a double-header.  Up first Friday night is yet another matchup with huge playoff implications as the Cavs are on the road against the Hawks.  Atlanta currently sits third in the East eight games back from Cleveland.  It is sure to be an even matchup for both teams.  Atlanta is 24 – 13 at home so far this season while Cleveland is 22 – 15 on the road.  Mark Jones will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by Hall of Famer and analyst Hubie Brown for additional commentary.  Reporter Chris Broussard will be courtside for all of the game’s latest headlines interviews, and more.  The game will air live at 8pm ET on ESPN.

Friday’s second game will see Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors host Isiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics as the Warriors’ quest for history continues.  Boston currently sits fifth in the East while Golden State leads the West.  The Warriors have also already clinched the Pacific division in the West.  Mike Tirico will have the call for the game, which is scheduled for a 10:30pm ET tipoff on ESPN.  He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary.  Reporter J.A. Adande will be courtside throughout the game for all of the game’s latest headlines and interviews.

Before the first ball goes in the air Friday night Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups will have a preview of the night’s games on NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew at 7:30pm ET on ESPN.

Oklahoma City and Houston round out the week’s NBA coverage across the ESPN networks.  The Thunder and Rockets will face off live Sunday afternoon on NBA Sunday Showcase presented by BBVA.  The game will air live on ABC and ESPN Radio beginning at 3:30pm ET.  Mike Breen will have the call for Sunday afternoon’s game.  He will be joined by Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary.  Reporter Lisa Salters will be courtside for al of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Kevin Calabro and Jon Barry will cover the game for ESPN Radio.  Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups will preview Sunday’s game on NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless.

More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of the NBA is available online along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks Focus On Conference Rivalries In This Week’s NBA Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The ESPN networks have another busy week of basketball for this week. And it all begins this afternoon on ESPN.

ESPN and its family of networks have another week of extensive NBA coverage for fans this week. It all begins this afternoon on ESPN with another new episode of The Jump. Host Rachel Nichols will have all of the latest NBA headlines. She will be joined by Tracy McGrady and Zach Lowe for insight and commentary into each headline. That is at 3pm ET on ESPN. Doris Burke, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups pick things up at 7:30pm ET on ESPN’s NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew. The half-hour pre-game show will come ahead of tonight’s Eastern Conference match between the Wizards and Bulls. Chicago is in last place in the Eastern Conference’s playoff race while Washington is currently out of the hunt for a spot in the post season. So both teams will be playing hard albeit for different reasons. The Spurs and Kings round out the days’ coverage in the late game. Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 10:30pm ET on ESPN. Mark Jones and Mark Jackson will have the call for the game. Sacramento is well out of the playoff race. San Antonio on the other hand currently sits second in the Western Conference behind Golden State, which currently leads the conference at 50 – 5 so far on the season.

The ESPN networks’ NBA Coverage continues Thursday night on ESPN Radio as the Thunder host the Warriors in another Western Conference matchup with major playoff implications. Oklahoma City currently sits third in the Western Conference at 40 – 16, which is well back from the conference and league–leading Warriors (50 – 5). Rachel Nichols will have a preview of Thursday night’s game on Thursday afternoon’s edition of The Jump. Raja Bell and Zach Lowe will join Nichols for the 3:30pm ET broadcast on ESPN.

ESPN’s NBA coverage returns to television Friday evening in a double header schedule. First up on the schedule is an Eastern Conference matchup between the Bulls and Hawks. Both teams will be playing for their playoff lives in Friday night’s game. Atlanta currently sits sixth overall in the Eastern Conference, two games back from the conference-leading Cavaliers. Chicago meanwhile sits last in the conference’s playoff race eleven games back from Cleveland. Mark Jones will have the call for the game. He will be joined by Doris Burke for additional commentary. Later Friday night the Grizzlies and Lakers face off in the night’s Western Conference showdown. The Lakers (11 – 47) are at the bottom of the Western conference and completely out of the playoff picture. Memphis is still in the playoff picture, sitting fifth in the conference fourteen and a half games back from Golden State. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 10:30pm ET on ESPN. Dave Pash will have the call for the game. He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary. Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins will lead off the evening on ESPN’s NBA Countdown at 7:30pm ET. Earlier in the afternoon Rachel Nichols, Raja Bell, and Zach Lowe will preview both of the evening’s games on The Jump. That will be at 3:30pm ET on ESPN.

Golden State and Oklahoma round out the week’s NBA coverage on the ESPN networks Saturday on NBA Primetime on ABC. The game will be simulcast on ABC and ESPN Radio with tipoff scheduled for 8:30pm ET on ABC. Mike Breen will have the call for Saturday night’s game on television. On the radio side Kevin Calabro will have the call. Breen will be joined on ABC by Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and reporter Lisa Salters. PJ Carlesimo will join Kevin Calabro on ESPN Radio’s broadcast of Saturday night’s game.  Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins will preview the game on NBA Countdown at 8 pm ET live on ABC.  The complete schedule for this week’s NBA coverage across the ESPN networks is noted below.

Date Time (ET) Telecast/Commentators Network (s)
 Wed, Feb 24 3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State FarmRachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, Zach Lowe ESPN
  7:30 p.m. NBA Countdown charged by Mountain DewDoris Burke, Jalen Rose, Chauncey Billups ESPN
  8 p.m. Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls presented by State FarmMike Breen, Jon Barry ESPN
  10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Sacramento Kings presented by State FarmMark Jones, Mark Jackson ESPN
Thu, Feb 25 1 a.m. NBA TonightCassidy Hubbarth, Brad Daugherty ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State FarmRachel Nichols, Raja Bell, Zach Lowe ESPN
  7:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City ThunderRadio: Kevin Calabro & PJ Carlesimo ESPN Radio
Fri, Feb 26 1 a.m. NBA TonightCassidy Hubbarth, Bruce Bowen ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State FarmRachel Nichols, Raja Bell, Zach Lowe ESPN
  7:30 p.m. NBA CountdownSage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins ESPN
  8 p.m. Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks presented by State FarmMark Jones, Doris Burke ESPN
  10:30 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Lakers presented by State FarmDave Pasch, Jon Barry ESPN
Sat, Feb 27 1 a.m. NBA TonightCassidy Hubbarth, Jorge Sedano ESPN2
  8 p.m. NBA CountdownSage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins ABC
8:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder presented by La QuintaMike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters

Radio: Kevin Calabro, P.J. Carlesimo

 

More information on this week’s NBA coverage across the ESPN networks is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime On ABC Presented By La Quinta Launches This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta makes its debut broadcast this Saturday night.

This weekend’s broadcast of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta marks the first time ever that any of the major broadcast networks will have ever broadcast an NBA game on a primetime NBA weekend series. Mike Breen will have the call for Saturday’s premiere edition of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta. The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Chicago Bulls on this weekend’s season premiere of ESPN’s new NBA program. He will be joined at the desk by analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. Lisa Salters will also be on hand for additional commentary.

NBA Countdown will precede Saturday night’s broadcast beginning at 7:30pm ET. Sage Steele will anchor the broadcast, which will also air on ABC. Steele will be joined at the desk by Jalen Rose and Doug Collins. The trio will preview Saturday night’s game and discuss all of the week’s biggest NBA headlines during the broadcast. More information on this weekend’s season premiere edition of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta and NBA Countdown is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

Website: http://espn.go.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Kicks Off Its 2015 NBA Pre-Season Broadcast Schedule Next Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The NBA is a little more than a week away from the start of its 2015 – 2016 season. And as fans and teams alike count down to the start of the new season, they are getting warmed up with the league’s annual slate of preseason games, which kicked off earlier this month. Now as the clock ticks ever closer to the start of the new season ESPN has announced the schedule for its preseason coverage.

Officials with ESPN announced this week that the worldwide leader in sports will tip off its 2015 NBA preseason coverage next Tuesday, October 20th. The network will open its preseason coverage with a match-up between the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and in-state rival Los Angeles Clippers. Mike Breen will have the call for the game, which is scheduled for a 10:30pm ET tip-off. Breen will be joined by analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary and insight.

Tuesday evening’s broadcast will be followed Wednesday, October 21st with a showdown between the Wizards and Heat live from American Airlines Arena. That game is scheduled for an 8pm ET tip-off. Veteran play-by-play man Mark Jones will have the call for that game. He will be joined in the booth by ESPN NBA analyst Hubie Brown. Ahead of the game, ESPN will present its pregame NBA Countdown pregame broadcast. More information on ESPN’s NBA coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.