NBA unveils broadcast enhancements for season restart

27 Jul 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The NBA has unveiled plans for broadcast enhancement when the league restarts after the coronavirus lockdown.

The league is set to restart on the 30th July at Walt Disney World in Florida without fans in attendance.

Fans will be viewing from home, but the league, in collaboration with broadcast partners ESPN and Turner Sports, has announced that more than 30 cameras, including many in robotic form, will be repositioned closer to the court and showcase never-before-seen camera angles in places that are otherwise not accessible with fans in the arena.  

Microphones will also be put in place around the court to capture sounds from the floor, including squeaks caused by footsteps and ball bounces. DJs and announcers will be in-venue to help replicate the sounds and experiences teams are accustomed to in-arena.  

The league has also announced that it will install screens around the court in order to give fans the chance to attend virtually through its partnership with Microsoft.

Some 300 fans will be invited to appear on the “Michelob ULTRA Courtside” video boards around the action. The initiative will give participants the opportunity to interact with each other throughout the game using Microsoft’s “Together mode” and will remove them from their own backgrounds in order to place them in a ‘shared visual space’ that will appear on the broadcast.

This will be the first initiative in the NBA’s strategic alliance with Microsoft, and will also include the league’s partner Michelob.

“The core of our partnership with the NBA is delivering next-gen experiences for their fans on and off the court,” said Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft 365. 

“All of us at Microsoft can't wait to watch an NBA game again and are excited to be part of the new fan experience. We hope Together mode helps fans feel more connected and immersed in the game, and helps teams feel the energy of their fans, even when they can't be in the arena."