Special ESPN Content Initiative Includes All-day Coverage of the NBA’s Current Top Team
Toronto Raptors to Host Philadelphia 76ers as part of Mandela 100 Initiative in Prime-time Eastern Conference Showdown on ESPN
ESPN today announced that its special “All-Access” content initiative is returning on Wednesday, Dec. 5 for a full day of coverage dedicated to the Toronto Raptors, who currently hold the NBA’s best record. The initiative is called Toronto All-Access, and it will feature exclusive Raptors content across ESPN platforms throughout the day, culminating with a prime-time national telecast of the Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Mike Breen, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Tom Rinaldi will provide commentary for the game.
Toronto All-Access coverage on Dec. 5 will start on ESPN Radio’s Golic & Wingo in the 6 a.m. hour and continuing through ESPN’s late-night SportsCenter shows. Other contributing platforms include The Jump, NBA Countdown, Get Up!, First Take, all editions of SportsCenter, and more.
Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president, production:
“The Toronto All-Access initiative provides us with an opportunity to document a day in the life of the Toronto Raptors organization through exclusive access, compelling interviews with Raptors personnel and behind-the-scenes footage across our vast amount of platforms. Through the work of our top commentators and producers, we’re aiming to tell this team’s story with a level of focus and depth that hasn’t been done before.”
- Rachel Nichols will conduct interviews with Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri and superstar Kawhi Leonard that will air on ESPN platforms Dec. 5;
- Footage from Doris Burke’s sit-down interview with Raptors coach Nick Nurse to air across platforms, including SportsCenter;
- ESPN Radio’s Golic & Wingo (6-8 a.m.) to feature interview with Raptors coach Nick Nurse;
- Get Up! on ESPN (8-10 a.m.) and NFL Live on ESPN (1:30-3 p.m.) will include interview footage with Raptors star Kyle Lowry;
- ESPN’s Instagram will have “All-Access” Instagram Stories with Raptors star Serge Ibaka, including content from his game day routine – shoot-around and post shoot-around footage, stretches, pre-game meals and more;
- First Take on ESPN (10-12 p.m.) to feature an interview with Raptors star Danny Green;
- ESPNU to televise the Iowa Wolves vs. Raptors 905 NBA G League telecast at 11 a.m.;
- ESPN NBA reporters including Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Tim Bontemps to provide reports and on-site updates;
- NBA Countdown on ESPN at 7 p.m. will include footage from Nick Nurse’s coach’s meeting;
- Raptors content on ESPN.com including Jackie MacMullan’s piece “Inside Pascal Siakam’s 6,000-mile journey to the Bench Mob”;
- SportsCenter at 1 a.m. to feature highlights of the best content of the day from Toronto.
The Jump, ESPN’s daily afternoon NBA show, will be on site in Toronto broadcasting from 3-4 p.m. Rachel Nichols, host of The Jump, will be joined by former Raptor and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady.
NBA Countdown, ESPN’s NBA pre-game show, airs at 7 p.m. and will precede the Raptors vs. Sixers game. Michelle Beadle hosts the show with analysts Paul Pierce and former Raptors Chauncey Billups and Jalen Rose.
Wednesday’s game also continues the NBA and the Toronto Raptors’ yearlong centenary celebration honoring Nelson Mandela’s life and impact on the world of sports. Events celebrating “Mandela 100” leading into the game include a youth summit event and Giants of Africa Camp. Additionally, the Raptors will introduce a Mandela 100 themed court at ScotiaBank Arena, and both teams will wear Mandela 100 warmup shirts. On Aug. 4, ESPN broadcasted the NBA Africa Game 2018, the league’s third exhibition game in the continent, which paid tribute to Mandela’s legacy and was played in support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Toronto All-Access is ESPN’s second NBA “All-Access” initiative, following Philadelphia 76ers All-Access from last season. Content highlights are subject to change and any updates will be distributed to media.
One week after Toronto All-Access, the Raptors will once again appear on ESPN as they visit the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and Kevin Durant on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 10:30 p.m.
Following the Raptors vs. Sixers game on Dec. 5, the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James will host the San Antonio Spurs and former Raptor DeMar DeRozan at 10:30 p.m. Mark Jones and analyst Mark Jackson will call the action. All ESPN NBA content will stream via the ESPN App.