For two decades, ESPN Deportes and ESPN International’s Alvaro Martín has provided Spanish-language commentary of the NBA Finals for ABC’s second audio programming (SAP) and for ESPN in Latin America. This year, the U.S. Hispanic audience also will have the option to follow his coverage on ESPN Deportes, marking the first time any Spanish-language cable network telecasts The NBA Finals. Martín shared more about this initiative and why it will be a significant Final for the Hispanic fans.
What does it mean for ESPN Deportes to carry The Finals?
The 2013 NBA Finals will be the first distributed in the U.S on a separate channel in Spanish — that is a watershed moment for the league, and a great honor and responsibility for ESPN.
How many years have you covered the NBA?
Since 1992, my first Finals were 1994. I have been fortunate to cover them all since. I’m ESPN’s senior NBA play-by-play announcer, regardless of language.
What kind of following do the Heat and Spurs have among U.S. Hispanic fans?
Roughly two-thirds of San Antonio is of Hispanic descent, including seventh-generation Mexican-Americans with limited command of Spanish. Considered one of the ‘capitals’ of Latin America, Miami is also an overwhelmingly Hispanic city. Take away L.A., and these Finals gather two of the NBA’s and the nation’s most Hispanic markets.
What’s your favorite part of calling NBA in Spanish?
U.S. NBA telecasts are nationally televised. Ours are internationally televised — to U.S. Spanish-speakers and in Latin America — so our potential viewership is huge. In most of our region, basketball may be the second most-popular sport, but it is the common sports denominator for fans of different cultures and countries. As we call the game, we feel their knowledge, power and passion.
Editor’s note: Martin will lead commentary for all games alongside the analysis of Carlos Morales and former Argentina National Team point guard Alejandro Montecchia. Sebastián Christensen will provide sideline reporting while Claudia Trejos will anchor the studio coverage alongside former Mexican NBA player Eduardo Nájera.