The LA Clippers game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday not only carries big stakes in respect to the Western Conference playoff series. It will also set a milestone when it comes to alternate sports broadcasts.
The contest will be the first-ever augmented reality broadcast of a live event on a regional sports network. Bally Sports West will present the “Clippers Kids Cast,” while the regular broadcast will air on Bally Sports SoCal.
Gillian Zucker, the Clippers president of business operations, said the franchise has wanted to do an alternate broadcast for a while, and Wednesday’s game offered the best opportunity because both Bally channels in Southern California were available.
TNT and ESPN also take over exclusive coverage of the playoffs beginning with the second round. Dallas and LA are tied at two games apiece in their best-of-seven series going into Wednesday.
“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,” Zucker said. “I think they see a real opportunity to test the technology for broadcasts that could appeal to other personalized experiences.”
The Clippers have been presenting an AR broadcast for three seasons with their “Clippers CourtVision” platform. That feed has been available to subscribers via the Fox Sports app until this past April, when the regional sports networks were rebranded as Bally Sports.
Zucker said the technology behind “Clippers CourtVision” and refining it to where there is not a lot of lag time with graphics have got them to this point.