Doris Burke Brian Steinberg-Senior show audience song actor rapper ESPN Rights Doris Burke Brian Steinberg-Senior

ESPN Taps Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson to Keep Viewers Watching NBA Finals

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Brian Steinberg Senior TV Editor ESPN wants to cash in on the big audiences expected to tune into the NBA Finals, which kick off Thursday evening on ABC.

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has a role to play. The rapper, actor and entrepreneur will surface at various times during coverage, largely in pre-taped segments that appear during the “NBA Countdown” pregame show, but also within some game telecasts.

He will do voice-over essays about the NBA Finals and appear on screen. Viewers will see Jackson delivering his lines directly to the camera, with the NBA’s Larry O’Brien championship trophy in full view.

The promotional vignettes will show him surrounded by imagery of NBA teams and elements meant to embody power — a nod to the Starz series of crime dramas he helped create.

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