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9/02/2005

 
LeBron James, MTV2, Comcast, Charter, and Nike Join Forces for 'Nike Battlegrounds: King of the Court'

NBA Superstar LeBron James, NBA Rookie Sensations Andre Iguodala and Ben Gordon to Host Popular MTV2 Basketball Series Premiering Sunday, September 18th at 8pm ET/5pm PT

Nike Battlegrounds Preview Special Set to Exclusively Premiere with Comcast and Charter ON DEMAND September 7th

Platinum Recording Artist, T.I. Creates Theme Song and Performs During Season Finale as the Worlds of Music and Basketball Collide in Third Season of Nike Battlegrounds

NEW YORK, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV2 and Nike are teaming up for the biggest season of Nike Battlegrounds ever -- "Nike Battlegrounds: King of the Court." Airing on MTV2 beginning in September, the weekly, popular basketball series will be hosted by NBA star LeBron James as the show takes on a new twist by focusing on the team aspects of the sport, as opposed to an individual 1-on-1 elimination process. National bragging rights are at stake as Nike Battlegrounds documents the search for the best hometown basketball players in Chicago and New York, creating two teams that will have an eventual face-off in the series finale in the ultimate showdown. Nike Battlegrounds will feature a performance by Grand Hustle recording star T.I., hip-hop's self-proclaimed "King of the South," and his song, "Battlegrounds: King of the Court," which will serve as the Nike Battlegrounds theme song.

Comcast ON DEMAND and Charter OnDemand will premiere the Nike Battlegrounds preview special exclusively on September 7th and then on MTV2 on September 11th at 8pm ET/5pm PT. The series premiere of Nike Battlegrounds will debut on MTV2 Sunday, September 18th at 8pm ET/5pm PT and then on Comcast ON DEMAND and Charter OnDemand the following week. In addition, MTV2.com and MTV Overdrive will have all the Nike Battlegrounds episodes on demand from your desktop immediately following their premiere on MTV2.

"With each new season of Nike Battlegrounds, MTV2 and Nike aim to raise the level of competition as well as the musical talent involved with the show," said Paul DeBenedittis, SVP, Programming, MTV & MTV2. "This year undoubtedly promises to be the best yet. With hosting duties provided by the NBA's brightest superstar, LeBron James, alongside Andre Iguodala and Ben Gordon, the NBA's newest rookie standouts, music provided by hip-hop's latest heavyweight, T.I., and by partnering with Comcast and Charter, Nike Battlegrounds will continue to be the premier destination for fans to check out the lifestyle and stories behind some of the country's most competitive and passionate basketball players and their raw, competitive desire to be the king of the court."

LeBron James will send two of the hottest NBA rookies back to their hometowns to coach the young talent and develop the teams. New York native and the first rookie ever to win the NBA 2004-2005 Sixth Man Award, Ben Gordon will return home from his first successful season playing for the Chicago Bulls to coach the New York squad. After thriving in his first season playing for the Philadelphia 76'ers, Illinois native Andre Iguodala will lead the Chicago team. The series will follow each team from the earliest selection process until the final match-up. Episodes of Nike Battlegrounds will highlight the team as it takes shape through practices, the cities they represent, and the courts they grew up on, before the players meet in a bragging rights battle to see which city is really king of the court.

"Today's game goes beyond flashy playground tricks," said Adam Roth, Nike's Director of Global Content & Partnerships. "Basketball is a team sport epitomized by the way a guy like LeBron James plays. For this season's Nike Battlegrounds series, we wanted to focus on that 'all for one' theme by following the ups and downs of some of Chicago and New York's best young ballers as they work hard to come together to represent their respective cities. Given Chicago and New York's historic hoops rivalry, it's a challenge that both Ben (Gordon) and Andre (Iguodala) take very personally as well."

The partnership between MTV and Nike began in 2003 when MTV chronicled Nike's Battlegrounds tournament, showcasing the best street ball players in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Toronto. The special aired in September of 2003 and is currently available on DVD nationwide. Last year's season of Nike Battlegrounds took the series international as it focused on one-on-one street battles between players from Paris, Chicago, Germany, Los Angeles, Italy, Philadelphia, Barcelona, and New York in order to find the true street ball "King of the World."

Nike Battlegrounds is a Nike, Wieden + Kennedy Entertainment and @radical.media production in partnership with MTV2.

With the evolution of MTV2 in 2005, the channel continues to deliver the hottest mix of music videos, music long form programs, and cross platform programming. The ongoing strength of MTV2's signature music blocks is further exemplified by the hip-hop powerhouse, "Sucker Free Sundays," which has grown 17% among P12-34 and 52% among Teens vs. last year. MTV2's success with music continues with shows such as the $2 Bill concert series, Video Mods, Playlistism, and Discover and Download. The first full season of the Sic 'Em Friday programming block which consisted of "WildBoyz," "Wonder Showzen," "Team Sanchez" and "Damage Control", was seen by over 26 million viewers.

For more info check out: http://www.mtv2.com/, and for more info on Overdrive check out: http://www.mtv.com/overdrive.

About Comcast

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NASDAQ:CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com/) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.5 million cable customers, 7.7 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.2 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.

The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76'ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.

About Charter Communications

Charter Communications, Inc., a broadband communications company, provides a full range of advanced broadband services to the home, including cable television on an advanced digital video programming platform via Charter Digital(TM), Charter High-Speed(TM) Internet service and Charter Telephone(TM). Charter Business(TM) provides scalable, tailored and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to organizations of all sizes through business-to-business Internet, data networking, video and music services. Advertising sales and production services are sold under the Charter Media(R) brand. More information about Charter can be found at http://www.charter.com/.

About NIKE

NIKE, Inc. based in Beaverton, Oregon is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Bauer NIKE Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan(R), which designs, markets, and distributes fine dress and casual shoes and accessories; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories.

About MTV Networks

MTV Networks owns and operates the cable television programming services MTV: Music Television, MTV2, mtvU, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, Comedy Central, and Spike TV, as well as The Digital Suite from MTV Networks, a package of thirteen digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.

Source: MTV2

CONTACT: David French of MTV2, +1-212-846-6698,
david.french@mtvstaff.com, or Nate Tobecksen of Nike, +1-212-367-4445,
nate.tobecksen@nike.com

Web site: http://www.mtv.com/
http://www.mtv2.com/
http://www.mtv.com/overdrive
http://www.comcast.com/
http://www.charter.com/




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