Turner Sports, The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM) today announced that they will team up to broadcast TNT’s coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night in Live 3D to 80 digitally-equipped theaters across the United States.
The announcement represents the first-ever fully marketed deal to deliver an NBA sporting event to the public in Live 3D.
The Live 3D HD event will be shown on a nationwide basis and continues to expand the league’s groundbreaking efforts in 3D HD.
Overall, the live 3D HD event will be shown on up to 160 screens in Carmike Cinemas, Celebration Cinemas, Cinema West, Emagine, Galaxy Theatres, Marquee Cinemas, MJR, NCG, Rave Motion Pictures, Showcase and UltraStar Cinema locations, and will serve fans in 35 states across the country.
The 24th annual NBA All-Star Saturday Night broadcast, expected to be one of the year’s most watched sporting events, is scheduled to air on Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 8 pm ET on TNT.
NBAAll-Star Saturday Night on TNT last year was the most watched in the event’s 23 year history, enjoying increases in households and significant growth in all key demographics.
«Turner Sports is excited to work with Cinedigm to extend our brand, as well as that of NBA All-Star Weekend, into a new arena through this creative and innovative viewing opportunity,» said David Levy, President of Turner Broadcasting Sales, Inc.and Turner Sports.
«We are proud to once again be on the cutting edge in providing NBA fans with a truly unique and comprehensive 3D viewing experience during NBA All-Star Weekend. This partnership demonstrates that Turner continues to provide new and innovative concepts for NBA fans to enhance the viewing experience.»
«Turner is the ideal partner to work with in delivering the next evolution of 3D HD to our fans,» said Steve Hellmuth, Executive Vice President, Operations and Technology, NBA.
«The last few seasons we have embraced 3D HD as a new and innovative way to experience the excitement of our game and look forward to putting fans coast-to-coast in a courtside seat for All-Star Saturday Night.»
«Cinedigm is the only company that can deliver Live 3D broadcast on a nationwide scale to cinemas and we are thrilled to be working with Turner Sports and the NBA on this event,» said Bud Mayo, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm.
«This groundbreaking, publicly available event is a demonstration of the benefits brought to audiences through true digital cinema experiences. Whether it’s bringing live 3D events or 3D movies to theaters or allowing theaters to custom-tailor the content they deliver to moviegoers, we are bringing new cinema-based entertainment options to consumers and new revenue streams to theaters,» added Bud Mayo.
The NBA has been a sports pioneer in live 3D HD.
The league featured the first live sports event in 3D HD with special viewing parties for NBA All-Star 2007.
For Game 2 of The Finals in 2007, at the direction of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA delivered the first public viewing of a live sporting event in 3D HD when more than 14,000 fans in the Quicken Loans Arena watched the Cavaliers take on the San Antonio Spurs on four 60-foot screens.
Last season, the Dallas Mavericks produced and delivered the first live3D HD sporting event to a motion picture theater at the Landmark Theater in Dallas to 500 fans.
NBA fans will be able to cheer together from the equivalent of courtside seats as the leagues’ top players compete in the following major events (competitors to be announced closer to the event). Haier Shooting Stars – 2008 champion Team San Antonio: David Robinson, Tim Duncan and Becky Hammon
Playstation Skills Challenge – 2008 champion Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams
Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout – 2008 champion Toronto Raptors forward Jason Kapono
Sprite Slam Dunk – 2008 champion Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard
The event will employ Cinedigm’s CineLive(TM) technology, which enables live 2-D and 3-D streaming currently to more than 80 theater complexes with more than 160 3D screens in the US Cinedigm expects to further expand its CineLive network throughout 2009 to at least 150 locations.
Cinema tickets will go on sale today for some locations, others will be added in the coming days. For a location near you and to buy tickets please go to www.cinedigmentertainment.com.
TNT’s exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend, live from Phoenix, Arizona, tips off Friday, February 13 at 9 pm ET withthe T-MobileRookie Challenge and Youth Jam, with the excitementcontinuingon Saturday, February 14 at 8 pm ET withTNT’s live coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which includes the Haeir Shooting Stars competition, the PlaystationSkills Challenge, the Foot LockerThree-Point Shootout, and the Sprite Slam Dunk.
TNT’s All-Star coverage takes center stage on Sunday, February 15 at 8 pm ET with the2009 NBA All-Star Game.
PS: Thanks to JoseLuis for the piece of news!