The LA Clippers game against the Dallas Mavericks will be the first-ever AR broadcast of a live game on a regional sports channel. Bally Sports West will show the “Clippers Kids Cast,” while the normal show will air on Bally Sports Southern California.
According to Gillian Zucker, who is the President of business operations of LA Clippers said the franchise wanted to do an alternate broadcast for some time now, and the latest game gave them the best opportunity as both Bally channels in SoCal were open.
ESPN and TNT also take over exclusive coverage of the playoffs. LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks are tied at two games apiece now.
“A lot of stars had to align to make this possible for us to try this season in terms of channel availability, production, and announcers. I think they see a real opportunity to test the technology for broadcasts that could appeal to other personalized experiences.” – Gillian Zucker.
The LA Clippers have been presenting an augmented reality broadcast for three seasons with the Clippers’ “Clippers CourtVision” platform. It has been available to subscribers through the Fox Sports app until April 2021, when the local sports channels were re-branded as Bally Sports.
The tech for CourtVision was developed by Second Spectrum, which has Steve Ballmer (Clippers owner) as one of its investors. ESPN also used Second Spectrum’s tech during its “Marvel’s Arena of Heroes” exhibition of an NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors.
Fans can expect to view player-specific animations like Paul George fishing or lightning bolts and logos for big plays, Kawhi Leonard hitting a 3-pointer from Moreno Valley, among others. The show will be similar to the “Mascot Mode” selection, which is available on CourtVision.
“I think that the biggest lesson that anybody took away from that game was sports are supposed to be fun. It’s just shifted my mindset in general, not just for these kids casts, but when I’m doing a normal game. Are there other moments that we can keep lighthearted before it gets to the nitty-gritty of a fourth-quarter when your team’s down three and need a bucket?” – Noah Eagle, Radio voice of the Clippers.
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