- Sage Steele, Doug Collins & Jalen Rose as NBA Countdown Pregame & Halftime Team
- Blockbuster, First-of-its-Kind Franchise Launches Jan. 23
ESPN today announced that NBA Finals broadcast team members – Mike Breen and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson – will provide commentary for the company’s new NBA franchise: NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta. In addition, veteran reporter Lisa Salters will join the trio for most games. The new franchise will launch Saturday, Jan. 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET when the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James host the Chicago Bulls and Jimmy Butler. All games will be available on ABC and WatchESPN.
The launch of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC marks the first prime-time NBA weekend series on broadcast television. The blockbuster eight-game schedule, which includes multiple appearances by the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, is below. ESPN Deportes will also televise several NBA Saturday Primetime games.
“It’s fitting that the NBA Finals team will call NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC – which is now the NBA’s premier game of the week,” said Tim Corrigan, ESPN senior coordinating producer.” Mike, Jeff and Mark are one of the best teams in all of sports, and will provide fans with an informative and entertaining experience as only they can.”
Corrigan, the producer of the NBA Finals, will also produce NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC. He’ll be joined by longtime partner and director Jimmy Moore for all eight games.
Prior to the start of the season, Jeff Van Gundy, who has served as an ESPN NBA analyst since the 2007 NBA Playoffs, reached a multi-year extension with ESPN. Van Gundy will continue to provide analysis for the NBA Finals, NBA Conference Finals and a full slate of regular-season and early-round playoff games.
NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC coverage will tip off each week at 8 p.m. with a 30-minute NBA Countdown telecast. Sage Steele will host alongside analysts Doug Collins and Jalen Rose. The trio will also serve as the halftime studio team.
“Sage, Doug and Jalen – our top studio team – are having a great season and will help add a ‘big time’ feel to Saturdays,” added Corrigan. “We couldn’t be happier to have this talented trio back for a second year together, and they’re off to a great start.”
NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC schedule:
|Sat, Jan. 23||8:30 p.m.||Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers*|
|Sat, Jan. 30||8:30 p.m.||San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Sat, Feb. 20||8:30 p.m.||Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers*|
|Sat, Feb. 27||8:30 p.m.||Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Sat, March 5||8:30 p.m.||Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls*|
|Sat, March 12||8:30 p.m.||Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs*|
|Sat, March 19||8:30 p.m.||Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs|
|Sat, April 9||8:30 p.m.||Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls|
*Also available on ESPN Deportes
Media contacts: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or [email protected], (@Ben_ESPN);
Gianina Thompson at 860-766-3496 or [email protected] (@Gianina_ESPN).