NEW YORK — ESPN Intl. has drawn up a new contract that extends its 15-year relationship with the National Basketball Assn.
The NBA’s other major cable-TV partner, TNT, has put together the most elaborate marketing campaign ever during its runup to the NBA’s annual All-Star Game Feb. 20.
The ESPN Intl. deal encompasses 51 live NBA games each year (including regular season and playoff), 19 WNBA games and nongame series programming such as “NBA Action,” “WNBC Action” and “ESPN Shootaround.” Russell Wolff, managing director of ESPN Intl., said the deal covers ESPN networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Rim (Australia and New Zealand).
Scott Levy, senior VP of international TV and marketing partnerships, said the ESPN Intl. contract is an important supplement to the 157 local deals NBC has signed with broadcasters and cable and satellite distributors in 214 countries.
In its promotion of the All-Star Game, TNT has commandeered more than 300 Regal Cinema moviehouses in 26 major markets for a promo — running two minutes and 45 seconds — on some of the great NBA players. Promo runs through Feb. 20.
For the first time, said John Martin, senior director of marketing and sports programming for TNT, the network will add national radio to local-radio spot buys. Campaign includes a sweepstakes that will give listeners the chance to win prizes.
TNT will also spend millions on All-Star ads on spot cable throughout the country and ads on such inhouse networks as TBS, CNN, Cartoon and the Airport Channel. Billboards and national magazines will also figure in the All-Star Game campaign.