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â€œ15 For the Finalsâ€ to Focus on Opening ABC Telecast
The 2007 NBA Finals, featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James and the San Antonio Spurs and Tim Duncan, will tip off Thursday at 9 p.m. ET with an unprecedented multimedia initiative offering the start of the game across 15 ABC and ESPN platforms â€“ including the complete game on ABC, ABC HD, ESPN Radio and ESPN International.Â Â
The multi-platform, cross-promotional presentation will include ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPN.com, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile Properties all providing coverage of The Finals from 9 p.m. through the first few minutes of the game.Â
At that point, all viewers will be advised to tune to the ABC Television Network for the remainder of the game. The domestic ESPN outlets will return to regularly scheduled programming.Â “Using all the ESPN distribution firepower we can muster to focus on the opening of the NBA Finals on ABC is a great way to showcase this event,â€ said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports.
NBA Commissioner David Stern added:Â “We are gratified that the Walt Disney Company has the ability to place such tremendous promotion behind our Finals on ABC. We’re appreciative to ABC, its affiliates and ESPN for this enormous display of support.”
Each game of the best-of-seven NBA Finals will be broadcast in high definition on ABC, with coverage starting at 8:30 p.m. with the OnStar NBA Countdown pre-game show.Â Â Mike Breen will call The Finals with analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy and reporters Stuart Scott and Michele Tafoya.Â Dan Patrick will host the pre-game show, originating from the site of the game, with analysts Jon Barry and Michael Wilbon and guest analyst Grant Hill.Â Mike Tirico will describe the game on ESPN Radio with analyst Hubie Brown and reporters Ric Bucher and Lisa Salters.
All telecasts of The Finals on ABC will include SkyCam, which will provide aerial views of the action, and FreezeCam, which will have the ability to capture a play, zoom in on a particular image and allow the commentators to better analyze that moment. Coverage will include an updated version of the Emmy Award-winning “Hall of Fame” opening segment, which features some of the most memorable players and moments in Finals history and “The Finals in Harmony,” a celebration of many of the players, teams and moments from The Finals through the voice and performance of Steve Sidwell and the Hollywood Film Chorale.