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.
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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.