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Tuesday, May 09, 2006, 06:00 am PT (09:00 am ET)

Apple inks distribution deal for 2006 NBA playoffs

The NBA has teamed up with Apple to bring the 2006 Playoffs to the iTunes Music Store, offering basketball fans the ability to download full game recaps of every remaining NBA Playoffs and Finals game broadcast by NBA networks ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBATV to their computer or iPod within 24 hours after each game concludes.

In addition to the 15 to 20 minute full game recaps available for each 2006 Playoffs game, during The Finals, fans will also be able to purchase complete game replays of every Finals game the day after they air on ABC.

Additionally, TNT Sports will provide more than 15 episodes of its Emmy Award-winning studio show, Inside the NBA on TNT, that will feature exclusive off-camera footage and interaction between Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. Episodes will also include guest appearances by TNT analysts Reggie Miller and Magic Johnson.

The "2006 NBA Playoffs on iTunes" content will be promoted across ESPN and ESPN.com, TNT and NBA TV advocating an "unprecedented new way" for fans to follow the NBA Playoffs leading up to and throughout The Finals on ABC starting on June 8.

As part of the deal, fans will be able to access the NBA content on Apple's iTunes service through several download options including a first of its kind "Follow Your Team" package which allows fans to receive automatic downloads of each of their favorite team's games.

Fans who purchase the "Follow You Team" option to one of the league's eight Conference Semfinal Playoff teams will receive full game recaps of every game the team plays from the Conference Semifinals through The Finals and a season recap video for $8.99.

"We're thrilled to be offering basketball fans this unique opportunity to follow NBA Playoffs on iTunes," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "With the new 'Follow Your Team' feature, fans automatically receive full game recaps of every game their favorite team plays from the Conference Semifinals through The Finals."

For the same $8.99. fee, fans can also purchase the "Inside the NBA on TNT" option, which will provide them with every episode of Inside the NBA on TNT from the Conference Semifinals through the Conference Finals including exclusive bonus segments.

Meanwhile, fans who purchase a special "Finals" package will receive complete game replays of every game of The Finals on ABC for $5.99.

"The NBA Playoffs and The Finals showcase the best athletes in the world competing for the ultimate prize and now fans can catch up and relive the excitement by downloading every remaining game and series through iTunes," said Brenda Spoonemore, Senior Vice President of Interactive Services, NBA Entertainment. "Tech-savvy NBA fans want more ways to experience the passion of the NBA and together with our television partners, we're happy to make this first ever playoff download package available."

iTunes shoppers may also select any 15 to 20 minute full game recap, complete game replay of The Finals or Inside the NBA on TNT a la carte for $1.99. All will be available on iTunes within 24 hours after games conclude.