NBA Finals to Feature New, Unparalleled Production Elements on ESPN and ABC

Tonight, the NBA Finals — one of the most watched sports events of the year — continues exclusively on ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN 3 and WatchESPN when the San Antonio Spurs take on the defending champion Miami Heat in Game 3. Tim Corrigan, ESPN senior coordinating producer, and his team produce each of The Finals telecasts.

It’s Tim’s sixth production of The Finals, and this year he and his team are including a number of new elements — from incorporating the local flavors of Miami and San Antonio to a new broadcast open.

Tim spoke to ESPN Front Row blogger Kristen Hudak about producing the event. Check out the interview here:

What can viewers expect to see this year in terms of production elements?
I think we have a bunch of really cool things we’re going to do this year. We have 36 coverage cameras, several Super Slo Mo cameras and two I-MOVIX cameras. The I-MOVIX cameras are pressed right up against the glass so that when a player dives toward the backboard, viewers are eye-to-eye with the action — and we have the Skycam for aerial views.

This season, we also have projections on the exterior of the arenas. We can project the game, replays, features, all sorts of elements on the outside of both arenas.

What can you tell us about the new broadcast open?
It’s been a two-month project working with Juniper Jones in Brooklyn. It puts all the focus and attention on great players, great teams and great moments that only happen at the NBA Finals. It required several different shoots and even an orchestra score.

Can you give us a general sense of the scale of producing The Finals? What challenges do you face?
Our whole operation takes a couple hundred people and I have to give huge props to the team. They had to wait for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to conclude (Monday) before starting to build our Miami compound early Tuesday morning.

The amount of work people put into this and the “do-anything-you-can-to-get-the-job-done” approach was just so impressive. We have seven mobile units, 360 strands of fiber — it’s an enormous undertaking by our operations and productions groups to pull this off.

How are you capturing the local flavor of both cities?
We went all around each city to capture images — in Miami, Downtown Miami and South Beach; in San Antonio, the River Walk and the Alamo. We have aerial coverage during each of the telecasts to create a sense of scale around the arenas. Of course, we’ll also have cameras mulling around outside each arena looking to capture the scene and the spirit of the cities.

For more on ABC and ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Finals, check out ESPN Front Row.