The final moments of this year’s NBA All-Star Game will likely have drama and multiple drives to the basket. One thing they won’t feature: advertising.
The fourth quarter of the NBA All-Star Game on TNT will include a commercial-free four quarter as part of a new format aimed at honoring the late Kobe Bryant. The sportscast will air on WarnerMedia’s TNT at 8 p.m. eastern on Sunday, February 16.
“Presenting the fourth quarter completely free of any commercial breaks creates a unique opportunity to showcase the new All-Star Game format, provide the best fan experience, and align with the league’s overarching plans to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant this weekend,” said Craig Barry, executive vice president and chief content officer, Turner Sports., part of the AT&T entertainment unit, in a prepared statement.
The ad-free segment marks the first time the presentation of the All-Star Game will take commercials out of part of the broadcast.
The league has already announced a series of changes to the All-Star event to pay tribute to Bryant, who earned 18 NBA All-Star selections and was killed in a helicopter crash on January 26. Both teams competing in the event will vie in more traditional fashion for the game’s first three quarters, each of which will last 12 minutes. At the start of the fourth quarter, however, the game clock will be turned off and a ‘final target score’ will be set. It will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points – the 24 representing Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career. The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter.
The first team to reach the final target score will win the NBA All-Star Game.
Automaker Kia has a presenting sponsorship of the event.