ESPN 3D preps for NBA Finals, adds new Friday Night Fights to the schedule

The NBA Finals kicks off tomorrow, and while the games will air in high definition on ABC, they will also air for the first time in 3D on ESPN 3D. If you prefer your sporting events sans-glasses there's plenty to look forward to: 32 HD cameras, six Super Slo-Mo cameras, a SkyCam and additional tweaks like ESPN Axis graphics. We'd still prefer to swap Mike Breen for Marv Albert and whatever intro music they have planned for John Tesh's Roundball Rock, but that's just us. The 3D broadcast will be held down by Mark Jones and either Bruce Bowen or Tim Legler calling the action. Of course, the fantastic playoffs we've experienced will come to an end eventually, but to fill in the summer sports slate until the X Games, ESPN 3D has also plans to air five Friday Night Fights matches over the summer. Check the press releases after the break for the dates and details, we'll be hunting down our 3D specs.

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ESPN 3D Adds Five Friday Night Fights Telecasts to Schedule

ESPN 3D has added five nights of live boxing to its schedule. Friday Night Fights will be on the network starting June 24 at 9 p.m. with matches originating from the Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, Calif. The schedule:

Date Time (ET) Location
June 24 9 p.m. Pechanga Resort Casino, Temecula, Calif.
July 1 11 p.m. Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas
July 8 9 p.m. Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
July 22 9 p.m. TBD
Aug. 12 9 p.m. TBD
ESPN 3D televised its first Friday Night Fights match on February 18. It was also the first live ESPN telecast to be produced only in 3D and aired in 3D and 2D simultaneously

NBA Finals Begin Tuesday Exclusively on ABC
ESPN Radio Exclusive Game Broadcasts; Finals Available on ESPN 3D for First Time

The 2011 NBA Finals – the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki facing the Miami Heat and LeBron James – will tip off Tuesday, May 31, at 9 p.m. ET exclusively on ABC. Mike Breen will be the voice of The Finals on ABC, joined by analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke. This will be the fifth consecutive year the commentator team of Breen, Jackson and Van Gundy has called The Finals. ABC's Buick Regal NBA Countdown pregame show will preview the action, with host Stuart Scott, Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and analysts Jon Barry and Michael Wilbon, at 8:30 p.m.

ESPN Radio's exclusive coverage of The Finals – the 16th year of The Finals on ESPN Radio – will be anchored by play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico, Hall of Famers Dr. Jack Ramsay and Hubie Brown and reporter Ric Bucher. Marc Kestecher will serve as ESPN Radio studio host with analyst Will Perdue. Additionally, for the first time, The Finals will be presented in 3D on ESPN 3D. Mark Jones will provide play-by-play commentary with analysts Bruce Bowen (Games 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7) and Tim Legler (Games 3 and 4).

ESPN's multiplatform presentation of The Finals will include coverage across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN 3D, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN International,,,, ESPN Mobile TV, espnW, ESPN Classic and ESPN The Magazine.

On game nights, ABC's primetime lineup will include:

the Buick Regal NBA Countdown pregame show 30 minutes prior to every broadcast;
Games 1 (May 31), 2 (June 2), 4 (June 7), 5 (June 9, if necessary) and 7 (June 14, if nec.) at 9 p.m.;
Games 3 (June 5) and 6 (June 12, if nec.), both on Sundays, at 8 p.m.;
a special 30-minute edition of The Jimmy Kimmel Show immediately before the Buick Regal NBA Countdown pregame show.
All ABC broadcasts will include the following production elements:

the Emmy Award-winning "Hall of Fame" open;
in-game interviews with coaches, along with each coach being "wired" for sound;
pregame and halftime locker room access;
32 high definition video sources;
"SkyCam" providing aerial views of the action;
utilization of six Super Slo Mo cameras;
"ESPN Axis" creating virtual replays, with video from live action processed via computers to create virtual freeze frames from multiple angles;
Orad graphics technology allowing for 3D lines and arrows, hi-res snap zoom capabilities, player and pass tracking and an enhanced graphic interface;
Spanish-language SAP commentary.
The Finals on ABC Schedule (Best of 7)
All Times ET

Date Time Game Networks
Tue, May 31 9 p.m. Game 1: Dallas at Miami ABC, ESPN 3D, ESPN Radio
Thu, June 2 9 p.m. Game 2: Dallas at Miami ABC, ESPN 3D, ESPN Radio
Sun, June 5 8 p.m. Game 3: Miami at Dallas ABC, ESPN 3D, ESPN Radio
Tue, June 7 9 p.m. Game 4: Miami at Dallas ABC, ESPN 3D, ESPN Radio
Thu, June 9 9 p.m. Game 5: * Miami at Dallas ABC, ESPN 3D, ESPN Radio
Sun, June 12 8 p.m. Game 6: * Dallas at Miami ABC, ESPN 3D, ESPN Radio
Tue, June 14 9 p.m. Game 7: * Dallas at Miami ABC, ESPN 3D, ESPN Radio
* if necessary

Additional Finals content:

SportsCenter and Studio Programming
ESPN's SportsCenter will provide news and information, analysis, and highlights throughout The Finals. Host Stuart Scott and analysts Magic Johnson, Jon Barry and Mike Wilbon will provide pre- and postgame segments, while Hannah Storm will host the 6 p.m. edition's NBA segments. Bruce Bowen, Tim Legler, Hall of Famer Chris Mullin and Jalen Rose will provide analysis during The Finals.

Additionally, ESPN's NBA Tonight postgame shows, along with Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn and ESPN2's First Take, will include Finals content.

ESPNEWS will provide live pre- and postgame news conferences, along with daily news and information.
Coverage will include:

NBA Finals Daily Dime – a daily multimedia notebook capturing The Finals games and scene;
NBA Finals Daily Dime Live – in-game chat with ESPN reporters, analysts, bloggers and experts;
NBA Finals Daily Digital Video – comments from ESPN reporters on Finals news and trends;
NBA Finals Series Page – special section dedicated to Finals content;
Greatest Playoff Series Rankings –'s John Hollinger ranks the greatest playoff series since the merger;
Championship Rings – NBA legends share their championship ring stories;
Moment in Time – revisiting the moment (Kendrick Perkins' injury) which turned last year's Finals;
NBA Legends Chat – some of the biggest names in the game answer fan questions; – live stream of every Finals game; – replays of every Finals game. and the Heat Index will also provide comprehensive coverage throughout The Finals.

ESPN Radio's 16th Season of The Finals
The NBA on ESPN Radio's 16th season of exclusive, live, national play-by-play broadcast of the NBA's post-season will culminate with The Finals.

ESPN Deportes
Alvaro Martin and Carlos Morales will provide NBA Finals updates on ESPN's Spanish-language edition of SportsCenter (aired in the U.S. and Latin America). In addition, ESPN Deportes Radio, the only 24/7 Spanish-language radio network in the country, will feature pre/post-game special reports. will provide comprehensive coverage with previews, qualifying, photo galleries, videos and special ESPiaNdo la NBA webisodes with analysis by Martin and Morales.

ESPN International
ESPN International will broadcast The Finals via ESPN UK (United Kingdom), ESS (Asia), TSN (Canada), ESPN Pac-Rim (Australia and New Zealand), ESPN Atlantic (sub-Saharan Africa), ESPN Caribbean, ESPN Latin Brazil, ESPN DOS, ESPN Latin South and available in HD throughout Latin America, Brazil and Australia.

ESPN Mobile Properties
ESPN Mobile will offer up-to-the-second coverage of the entire 2011 NBA Finals, providing fans with play-by-play GameCasts along with full highlights on the Mobile Web and ScoreCenter app. Fans will have the opportunity to interact with ESPN NBA experts during games with live chats and blogs. Opt-in ESPN text alerts will notify fans across carriers of game start times, scores and notable performances throughout The Finals. will offer replays of each Finals game, available at 2:30 a.m. each night through 12 p.m. the following afternoon.

Sarah Spain and additional contributors will provide espnW's take on The Finals, including an informative glossary of basketball terms. espnW will also feature predictions and perspective from WNBA players.

ESPN Classic
ESPN Classic's NBA Finals marathon will include content leading up to Game 1 on Tuesday, May 31:

1 a.m. – SportsCentury: Bill Russell
2 a.m. – SportsCentury: Larry Bird
3 a.m. – SportsCentury: Magic Johnson
4 a.m. – Homecoming: Magic Johnson
5 a.m. – SportsCentury: Karl Malone
7 a.m. – SportsCentury: Bill Russell
8 a.m. – Jim Rome Classics: Dennis Rodman
8:30 a.m. – Jim Rome Classics: Karl Malone
9 a.m. -- Up Close Special: Kobe Bryant & Chris Webber
10 a.m. – 1970 NBA Finals, Game 7: Los Angeles vs. New York – Walt Frazier leads the Knicks to a 113-99 victory; Willis Reed makes the dramatic halftime return
12 p.m. – 1996 NBA Finals, Game 6: Seattle vs. Chicago – Michael Jordan collapses in the locker room after winning the title on Father's Day, the first championship since his Father passed away
2 p.m. – 2006 NBA Finals, Game 3: Dallas vs. Miami – Dwyane Wade scores 42 points as the Heat rally from 13 down in the fourth quarter to win 98-96
4 p.m. – 2006 NBA Finals, Game 5: Dallas vs. Miami – Heat nudge the Mavs 101-100 behind a stellar performance by Dwyane Wade, who finished with 43 points
6 p.m. – 2006 NBA Finals, Game 6: Miami vs. Dallas – Miami wins 95-92 behind Dywane Wade's 43 points