“The 2010 special had detractors, some with valid points,” James was quoted in the release. “Dragging the whole thing out over 75 minutes was probably too much. This year’s edition will be just 30 minutes, featuring just an intro, an interview and then the announcement.”
Despite the many criticisms of the first “Decision,” the event raised $2.5 million for charity and pulled in 9.95 million viewers for ESPN — all but guaranteeing James’ next free agent announcement would be televised.
“It wasn’t perfect, but a lot of good came out of it,” said James. “I think I’m wiser and more mature now and the new ‘Decision’ will show that.”
In fact, a full 6-minute segment of the broadcast, shot by ESPN and approved by James and his marketing director Maverick Carter, will highlight how James has become wiser and more mature in the past four years.
“ESPN is excited to partner again with LeBron James to bring fans his latest decision in free agency,” said a network spokesman. “You could say it was an easy decision for us.”
The entire “The Decision II” will be simulcast on LeBron’s Samsung app. The app will also offer additional features not available on ESPN. The 30-minute special will have a 30-minute “The Decision II” “pregame” show, followed by a 1-hour “Post-Decision II” wrap-up and analysis special, for a total of 90 minutes — 15 minutes more than in 2010.
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony also reportedly contacted ESPN about broadcasting his own free agency decision, but the network – and others – showed no interest. He will instead announced it live on a UStream feed.
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