ESPN busts up the ad clutter with ‘Basketball: A Love Story’ | Advertising

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Filmmaker Dan Klores crams a whole lot of hoops lore in his 20-hour documentary “: A ,” but fans of the game won’t have to sit through an unwieldy amount of commercials when they hunker down with this fast-moving, eye-opening series.

has trimmed the fat from the “Basketball: A Love Story” commercial load, limiting its sponsor roster to just three marquee brands. Presented with limited interruptions, the five-part docuseries is backed by blue-chippers Geico, Nike and Metro by T-Mobile, the prepaid wireless brand formerly known as MetroPCS.


While primetime TV is basically a full-court press of commercial messaging, “Basketball: A Love Story” effectively calls off the marketing dogs. According to Wendell Scott, ESPN’s Senior VP of Multimedia Sales, each two-hour installment of “Basketball” will feature as few as four breaks, but no more than six, a marked reduction from the standard eight-pod structure the network uses for similar programming initiatives.

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