Bally Sports West plans to air a special kid-friendly version of the L.A. Clippers’ NBA playoff game on Wednesday featuring special animation and a 10-year-old reporter.
Sports broadcasters have been looking for ways to create younger viewers and fans. ViacomCBS ran a special version of an NFL playoff game for kids on Nickelodeon. Nick also had a pre-game show before the Super Bowl aired on CBS. And as part of a MegaCast, one of ESPN’s feeds appeared on FreeForm with a Watch Party format and a half-time performance from DJ Khaled.
Wednesday’s Clippers Kids Cast Powered by Bally Sports will feature graphics and animations from Second Spectrum that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver fun facts about players and help young viewers relate to the Xs and Os of basketball.
The telecast will feature commentary from 10-year-old sports reporter Pepper Persley, who will appear alongside Clipper radio voice Noah Eagle and former Clipper and Bally Sports analyst Corey Maggette.
Persley has been a sports journalist since she was six and has her own talk show and podcast.
“We’re excited to join alongside our partners at the Clippers and Second Spectrum to deliver an innovative and creative view of the game,” said Steve Rosenberg, president, local sports for Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the Bally regional sports networks. “By combining our best-in-class local production with the power of Second Spectrum’s technology, this is a great opportunity to broaden our reach with a fun, lean-forward experience and really help shape the way fans of all ages view games in the future.”
While the Kids Cast appears on Bally Sports West, a traditional telecast of game five versus the Dallas Mavericks will appear on Bally Sports SoCal.
“Second Spectrum’s technology has already changed the way Clippers fans interact with our games through personalized viewing experiences that target different fan interests, but with only limited availability, until now,” said Gillian Zucker, president of business operations for the Clippers. “Clippers Kids Cast Powered by Bally Sports broadens the reach of the customized live game experience by taking a regional sports network broadcast to the next level with real-time augmentations, plus the game story told by the best young voices out there. This is the future of broadcasting, and we’re excited that our partners at Bally Sports and Second Spectrum are as excited about it as we are.”
Second Spectrum is the official tracking provider of the NBA and the official tracking and analytics provider of the Premier League and Major League Soccer. Founded in 2013, it was backed by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, the Chernin Group, CAA Ventures and Elysian Park Ventures. It agreed to be acquired for $200 million by Genius Sports in May.
“Second Spectrum is thrilled to continue our incredible partnership with the LA Clippers and Bally Sports from which new innovations and engaging fan experiences like Clippers Kids Cast come to life,” said Rajiv Maheswaran, co-founder and CEO of Second Spectrum. “Together, we have created a world-class and unmatched platform to power creative and unique real-time content for a modern generation of sports fans. I personally look forward to watching Clippers Kids Cast with my kids.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.