Seen on Screen: NBA TV To Televise EuroBasket 2015, Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame; ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Premieres

by Wilson Sy, Editorial Assistant

NBA TV started televising 10 live games from the FIBA Americas Championship and EuroBasket 2015 international tournaments that began on Sept. 6. The quarterfinal double-headers will tip off on Tuesday, Sept. 15 and Wednesday, Sept. 16, beginning at 12:30 p.m E.T. The semifinal matchups will be televised Thursday, Sept. 17, and Friday, Sept. 18, at 3 p.m. Several NBA stars such as Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Andrew Wiggins (Canada), Tony Parker (France), and Pau Gasol (Spain) are among the participants in EuroBasket 2015. The finals participants in both the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship and EuroBasket 2015 will qualify for the 2016 Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…

NBA_TV.svg…NBA TV will also exclusively televise the 2015 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony from Springfield, MA, on Friday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET. It will mark the first time a Hall of Fame ceremony will be presented without commercial interruption. The evening will begin with the 2015 Hall of Fame Red Carpet Show at 6:30 p.m., hosted by Matt Winer alongside David Aldridge and Rick Kamla. This year’s Hall of Game class includes eight-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo, University of Kentucky’s head coach John Calipari, and eight-time WNBA All-Star Lisa Leslie…

First Pitch, part of ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts documentary series, will premiere on Friday, Sept 11, on SportsCenter immediately after the national moment of silence, as well as on Grantland.com and ESPN.com. President George W. Bush stepped onto the mound at Yankee Stadium on the night of October 30, 2001, to throw out the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series. The 23-minute film, directed by two-time Academy Award-winning director Angus Wall and executive produced by Jim Gray, will look at how important that famous pitch was to the nation, and how baseball helped be a part of the recovery after 9/11…

…30 for 30 Volume III will return in October with the first five documentaries in the 30-film flight premiering this fall, every Tuesday in prime time on ESPN, for five straight weeks beginning October 13. Film topics include: The run this fall includes four first-time directors the rise and fall of USC football under head coach Pete Carroll, a city and its mayor fighting to keep the Kings in Sacramento, the ultimately tragic story of the relationship between Olympic wrestling stars Mark and Dave Schultz and multimillionaire John du Pont, an exploration of Bill McCartney running the University of Colorado football program on the way to a national championship, and Evander Holyfield’s years of waiting to fight the famed Mike Tyson and make history…

…ESPN is shortening its Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show from three hours to two as part of an effort to quicken the show’s pace and attract younger viewers. The show NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition in the 10-11 a.m ET hour will be produced with a quicker pace, according to Seth Markman, ESPN’s senior coordinating producer for NFL studio production. ““We honestly just felt like Countdown would be a better show at two hours,” Markman said. “The show moved a little slower than I liked last season. I promise you that’s not going to be the case any more.” ESPN is basing its changes on focus group feedback that said the show was becoming stale over three hours, Markman said. The show averaged 1.897 million viewers last season, a figure that was down from the previous year…

…The NFL is looking to make a decision by the first quarter of 2016 on potential networks to land the rights to Thursday Night Football. League officials have not put a specific deadline on making a decision, but have told TV executives to make sure the winning bidder has enough time to sell advertising and create marketing campaigns for the 2016-17 season. All the broadcast networks — ESPN/ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC — have told the league they are interested in getting the Thursday night package, which currently is carried by CBS. The NFL’s deal with ESPN runs through 2021; its deal with CBS, Fox and NBC run though 2022. CBS picked up the Thursday night package for $275 million in year one last year and for $300 million for this season…

…With the NFL’s digital presence growing (NBC’s streamed games averaged a record 3.3 million unique users last season, up 9 percent year over year), the league plans to livestream more games than ever across multiple platforms, including digital partners CBS Sports and Yahoo, and offer fans a comprehensive paid subscription service featuring premium content. The NFL has rolled up all its subscription offerings into one package called Domestic NFL Game pass, which will cost $99 per year, will include NFL Game Rewind, NFL Audio Pass, NFL Preseason Live, and the subscription portion of the retooled NFL Now, which features NFL Films and other long-form content. The free, ad-supported version of NFL Now will be added to NFL Mobile and become the basis for much of the video on that platform and will no longer be a stand-alone app…

…Traditional TV networks’ growing dependence on sports programming continues. According to MoffettNathanson Research, broadcast TV sports advertising is up 8% on a compound annual growth rate basis to land at $8.5 billion for the 2014-15 TV season. ABC and NBC witnessed double-digit percentage hikes over the season before while NBC grew 15% to $2.0 billion over five seasons and ABC added 12% to $1.0 billion. In 2014-15, CBS and Fox led all networks in overall dollars: CBS hit $2.8 billion, a 6% compounded annual growth rate over five years; Fox is at $2.6 billion, a 4% growth rate. Non-sports advertising from TV programming have declined – down 1% on growth rate over five years to $14.3 billion for the four major English-language networks. For the 2014-15 season, ABC was at $4.7 billion (down 1%); NBC growing 7% to $4.0 billion; CBS, off 3% to $3.9 billion; and Fox down 11% to $1.6 billion. ESPN takes the lion’s share with $2.4 billion, rising 6% over five years. NFL Network is at $407.5 (a gain of 34%) followed by ESPN2 at $362.3 million (flat); Golf Channel at 302.0 million (up 7%); and NBC Sports at $200.0 million (up 14%)…

…ESPN will offer its most robust NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball slate this season with more than 100 games televised across ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. ESPN will once again have coverage of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship with coverage details being announced at a later date. ESPNU and SEC Network will begin a 10-week Wednesday night volleyball slate on Sept. 23 that continues through Nov. 28. In addition, ESPNU and SEC Network will each televise games on additional Sunday and other weekday games throughout the season. ESPNU’s scheduled is highlighted by 16 ranked teams with 12 games featuring ranked teams including two additional head-to-head matchups of ranked teams. ESPN3 and SEC Network will also carry NCAA Division I Women’s volleyball games throughout the year, with those schedules available on WatchESPN app, ESPN3.com and SECSports.com…

…ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network will combine to televise more than 40 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer games this season, including regular Thursday night and Sunday action Texas home games, the ACC and American Championship games full coverage of the SEC Tournament. ESPN will also have coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship date to be announced. ESPNU’s 10- game slate began last week on Thursday, Sept 3 and will continue on two Sundays in September (20 and 27) and two in October (18 and 27) followed by three conference championship games: ACC, SEC and American Championship. SEC Network’s schedule started Sept. 1 and will continue through Oct. 29, with select games also airing on Sundays and Fridays. The schedule concludes with the first round (Nov. 2), quarterfinals (Nov. 4.). The Longhorn Network will televise eight more Texas home games. ESPN3 and SEC Network will also carry NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer games throughout the year, with those schedules available on WatchESPN app, ESPN3.com and SECSports.com…

…truTV and Top Rank will exclusively present MetroPCS Friday Night knockout on truTV, a live primetime boxing series, today Sept. 11, at 10 p.m. E.T from The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The boxing series, produced in association with Turner Sports and HBO Sports, will feature two 10-round bouts between Top 10 contenders. Closed captioning in Spanish will be available for the truTV telecast.