The National Basketball Association plans to Webcast games of the National Basketball Developmental League on NBA.com and ESPN.com by the end of the year. The NBDL will serve as the official minor league for the NBA when it begins play in November.
The Webcasts are part of a three-year agreement the NBA and ESPN have signed with the NBDL. ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast 24 games. The league will play a 56-game season that ends in March and followed by playoffs.
The Webcasts will consist of live game coverage, player statistics and audio and video highlights. The Webcasts also will feature live microphones on players and film footage from the benches and locker rooms. ESPN.com and NBA.com have not decided whether they will Webcast only televised games or expand coverage to include non-televised games.
“We are planning to Webcast the games in order to make them available to a global audience,” said Brian Flinn, spokesman for the NBA. “Broadcasting and Webcasting the games will provide the league with exposure to basketball fans and NBA coaches.” Plus, exposure online will enable potential players outside the United States to get information about the league.
The NBDL will consist of eight teams based in the southeastern United States. While it will serve as a minor league for the NBA, the teams will not have any direct affiliation with NBA clubs.