The BIG3’s second season starts on Friday, and with it comes a few new (but familiar) faces and an important wrinkle for fans of the 3-on-3 league: live TV. Answering the hopes of many and continuing the precedent set by the league’s inaugural championship game, Fox Sports is broadcasting BIG3 games live this season.
The broadcasts kick off on Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST on FS1 as the league takes its weekly showcase to Houston. From there, BIG3 tours the US and Canada, hitting Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Miami, Toronto, Boston, Atlanta and Dallas with the championship game taking place in Brooklyn.
Live broadcasts are a big step for the league and a broadcast crew that used the first season as a test palate for how a fast-paced, half-court league should be presented visually.
“Last year it was an experiment in regards to TV,” said Jim Jackson, who returns to the BIG3 broadcast for a second season as an analyst. “We didn’t know how games would flow, so I think it was best that we did it on tape delay so we could filter out the better games. Make the mistakes early and understand what the product is in order to bring it live”
Jackson told Uproxx that editing the earlier games and then trying the championship game on live television prepared the broadcast team for its second season, and he’s excited about the changes the league has seen in its second year. One of those changes is an expanded broadcast team for Fox, which will broadcast the 10-week schedule on its FS1 network each Friday night. Boadcasting four 3-on-3 games a night live may bring some unexpected moments, but those involved seem excited about the challenge.