LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 05: (L-R) Center fielder Dexter Fowler of the St. Louis Cardinals joins TNT’s Inside the NBA team, NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal, host Ernie Johnson, wearing an iGrow laser-based hair-growth helmet, and NBA analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley during a live telecast of “NBA on TNT” at CES 2017 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center on January 5, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world’s largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 8 and features 3,800 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to more than 165,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

We told you last month about TNT’s plans for its “Players Only” Monday night NBA doubleheaders. The games will be called and hosted by ex-jocks. And now, the next phase of Turner Sports’ plans for Monday nights has been unveiled and it involves ad breaks.

When you watch the games starting next Monday, February 27, you’ll notice one advertiser per break which will be known as “superpods,” not be confused with “Supergirl” which airs on The CW on Monday nights.

The “superpods” will occur between the first and second quarters and the in-between third and fourth quarter break. They will feature branded content, analysis as well as a custom 60-second ad all taking the place of your customary three minute breaks that contain a plethora of different advertisers and can turn off viewers.

Advertising Age notes that this is a way to provide advertisers with their own block of content without having to compete with other brands;

Designed to offer viewers a more engaging experience during basketball’s longest in-game breaks, the superpods also provide TNT’s NBA advertisers with a clutter-free chunk of real estate from which to market their products and services. If the experiment works out as planned, hoops enthusiasts will be more likely to pay attention to the brand messaging, which in turn would go a long way toward justifying the premium rates associated with taking up an exclusive position.

State Farm has signed on for the first “Players Only” superpod, which will air in the front half of the Feb. 27 Bucks-Cavs telecast. Signage for the insurance company, which is an official NBA sponsor and one of TNT’s biggest advertisers, will appear in Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21,” the show-within-the-studio-show interview segments that debuted in November.

And Turner tells Ad Age that advertisers are responding well to the “superpod” packages with many sold in advance.

This is not the first time that Turner has done this. It used a similar type of format of TBS’ coverage of the ELeague last year so it hopes that this will translate well into traditional sports.

[Advertising Age]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.