TNT’s telecast of the 69th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 16 will be presented commercial free during the fourth quarter for the first time, Turner Sports announced.
The NBA has made a number of changes to the format of this year’s All Star game to boost player competitiveness and fan interest. One change is that the fourth quarter will be untimed and that, to win, one team will have to score 24 more points than the leading team had at the end of the third quarter.
The format is partly a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, the 18-time All Star who wore jersey number 24. During the game, Bryant will also be saluted when the shot clock hits 24 seconds and eight second remaining. Bryant wore number eight earlier in his career.
“Presenting the fourth quarter completely free of any commercial breaks creates a unique opportunity to showcase the new All-Star Game format, provide the best fan experience, and align with the league’s overarching plans to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant this weekend,” said Craig Barry, executive VP and chief content officer, Turner Sports.
Turner has reported that ad sales for the All-Star weekend were brisk, with prices and revenue hitting record levels. The All-Star Game itself is presented by Kia and the pre-game show is sponsored by Autotrader.
The game will be simulcast on TNT sister network TBS.