ESPN is heading into its 21st season as a broadcast partner of the NBA and will be making a number of updates and changes to its presentation of NBA games and studio shows for the 2022-23 season.
While the voices on games will be the same — the biggest news from Tuesday’s media call was Hubie Brown being back on a one-year deal to do “abut 15 games” and confirmation of JJ Redick being a more regular game analyst this season — there will be a number of ways things will look and sound different when watching games on ESPN. Among the biggest is a new NBA on ESPN theme for the first time in more than a decade, as they looked to make a more contemporary sound.
It is a perfectly fine theme, nothing particularly exciting, but it’ll surely get some reaction, good and bad, simply by being new. That will be heard prior to games, ahead of NBA Countdown, and in promo packages, while NBA Today might get its own theme in the near future.
As for visuals, there is a wholly new graphics package for games and promos this season, with an emphasis on team colors and logos (note: the music is not part of the NBA on ESPN changes, but just some commercial music they used to provide some backing for the new look).
In games, the biggest change being a scorebug that will no longer take up the entire bottom of the screen, instead going for a condensed look to provide more court space. Along with the condensed size, fans will also be pleased to learn that the color swatches for each team will change based on what uniform set that team is wearing so they always match, ensuring there’s no longer any confusion when a team wearing white might have a green scorebox.
They also have new player graphics to provide in-game updates and stats that share a similar look to the scorebug.
The full screen graphics will also be more colorful and feature player images more heavily.
Overall, it’s a solid update, particularly with the scorebug. Showing more of the court is always good and still getting information to viewers without as much clutter is a welcome change. All of these changes will go into effect for the ESPN’s first preseason broadcast on Thursday night.