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Fran
01-04-2010, 09:12 AM
Versus is dipping its toe in the pro basketball arena by signing a one-year deal for the rights to the NBA’s development league. The deal is small in nature and encompasses 10 Saturday night games and six playoff games for the rest of the season.

Fran
01-04-2010, 02:39 PM
Here is the press release.

VERSUS today announced an agreement with the NBA Development League, the NBA’s official minor league, to air 10 regular season and six playoff games throughout 2010.

The NBA D-League regular season games will air on VERSUS on Saturday nights at 11 p.m. ET, beginning Jan. 16, when the Fort Wayne Mad Ants meet the Sioux Falls Skyforce. VERSUS will tip off NBA D-League playoff coverage on April 10. All regular season and postseason games will be presented in HD.

“We are very excited to announce this new partnership with the NBA D-League and to have the opportunity to showcase the league’s future stars to a national audience,” said Marc Fein, Executive Vice President of Programming, Production and Business Operations for VERSUS. “As we do with all of our partners, we also look forward to super-serving basketball fans by surrounding the high-paced NBA D-League game action with many hours of complementary NBA programming.”

“Teaming up with VERSUS provides us with another great outlet to showcase the incredible talent of the NBA D-League throughout the season,” said Dan Reed, President of the NBA D-League. “Last season, 20 percent of NBA players had NBA D-League experience and, through this agreement with VERSUS, more fans than ever will have the opportunity to see many future NBA players in action.”

VERSUS’ NBA D-League coverage will provide fans with even more access to the game and the players including micing players and coaches during the games, in game interviews, airing locker room and pre-game, halftime and post-game speeches, and increased camera angles.

In addition to VERSUS’ 16 NBA D-League games in 2010, the network will air 25 hours of exciting NBA programming. Some of the programming will include profiles of the league’s top players as well as former iconic players and coaches. Other additional specials will highlight historic moments from recent regular seasons and playoffs.

VERSUS’ COMPLETE REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE OF NBA D-LEAGUE GAMES INCLUDES:

January 16: Fort Wayne Mad Ants at Sioux Falls Skyforce
January 23: Fort Wayne Mad Ants at Iowa Energy
January 30: Bakersfield Jam at Idaho Stampede
February 6: Reno Bighorns at Rio Grande Valley Vipers
February 20: Dakota Wizards at Sioux Falls Skyforce
February 27: Bakersfield Jam at Austin Toros
March 13: Tulsa 66ers at Rio Grande Valley Vipers
March 20: Dakota Wizards at Erie BayHawks
March 27: LA D-Fenders at Rio Grande Valley Vipers
April 3: Erie BayHawks at Maine Red Claws

CHris902
01-04-2010, 02:56 PM
I think this is the time slot that the ABA was originally supposed to fill, but I may be wrong.

bdyer
01-04-2010, 03:02 PM
I wonder how they went about choosing the games. I don't remember the Vipers' having a tv broadcast of any kind -- only the webcast with the radio call -- and they have three home games scheduled for Versus. I guess Versus is going to produce the whole thing and not just re-air the teams' broadcasts.

preeths
01-04-2010, 03:16 PM
I think this is the time slot that the ABA was originally supposed to fill, but I may be wrong.

I think the ABA games were allegedly supposed to air on Saturday afternoons.

robster2001
01-04-2010, 03:44 PM
Keep in mind that the D-League webcasts all of their games (and thus, has one or more cameras in each arena already), and that the NBA does have its own network (and thus, production capability)... this will be far easier for the D-League than it would have been for the other alleged basketball deal on Versus.

bdyer
01-04-2010, 06:35 PM
Keep in mind that the D-League webcasts all of their games (and thus, has one or more cameras in each arena already), and that the NBA does have its own network (and thus, production capability)... this will be far easier for the D-League than it would have been for the other alleged basketball deal on Versus.Well, NBAtv is pretty much run by Turner now -- so I don't know how much overlap there is going to be. I believe a separate company is providing the mobile HD equipment for the D-League showcase; maybe they are going to do the Versus games as well.

From the showcase page:

The live games on NBA TV will be the first high-definition (HD) sports broadcast utilizing Newtek Inc.’s TriCaster™ - the cost efficient, lightweight, and easy to operate portable production system. TriCaster is currently used by NBA D-League teams to deliver live video webcasts of every game throughout the season via NBA Futurecast on NBA.com/futurecast.

http://www.nba.com/dleague/showcase_tv_091230.html

So maybe those cameras are HD-ready after all.

bdyer
01-05-2010, 06:10 PM
The HD webcast from the showcase is very good. 16:9 aspect ratio and impressive detail when run full screen on a tv, My only gripe is the motion isn't as smooth on the flash video as on the old Windows Media Player video.

OK, my other gripe is they don't archive the games anymore.

SignGuyDino
01-05-2010, 11:57 PM
Some observations:

This is much better than when the D-League started. If you'll remember in the days of replicant logos and mascots the games were on espn2 around 1 or 2 eastern. Therefore, this tie-in will make the "reality" show much better (and you know it'll happen by season 2 no reason not to).

I still think the season should start and end sooner and get some of these guys in NBA rosters just in time for the stretch run and playoffs.


Wow, look, NO UTAH FLASH in the schedule. Gee, I wonder why?

I sure hope to hell Jordan shows at the Maine game. That would rule all.