The Big3 has partnered with media giant Endemol — producers of the smash-hit reality TV show “Big Brother” — to create the league’s quarantined reality-show basketball tournament, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
“Big Brother” has been a hit in more than 50 countries and is still broadcast in over 20 countries.
After receiving a negative coronavirus test result, players and referees will be quarantined in the same Los Angeles-area home provided by the league for the three-week tournament, which will consist of 16 players, sources said.
The tournament could also include some of the world’s best female players, sources said.
The games and the daily lives of players and officials will be captured on camera for added drama and storylines.
The name of the show is tentatively set to be “Big Brother: Big3” and is expected to make its debut the first week of May, sources said.
Executive producers of “Big Brother” — which has completed its 21st season — will work alongside The Big3 in producing the show to be broadcast globally, sources said.
The forces behind the project — Big3 founders Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz — are motivated to bring sports entertainment to a world facing unprecedented times amid a massive world sports hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan is to make the show an annual preseason Big3 tournament, sources said.
Cube and Kwatinetz are in the process of finalizing the rules for the show, engaging in dialogue with possible sponsors and narrowing down potential global TV broadcast partners, sources said.
While it would seem that CBS would be the show’s logical home because “Big Brother” and The Big3 air on the network, there is talk that the show is being aggressively pursued by another suitor, sources said.
A basketball gymnasium is currently being constructed at the designated home. If a player were to break quarantine at any point during the tournament, he or she would be eliminated and removed from the premises.
The winning player will secure a seven-figure cash prize and the runner-up would receive a substantial amount.
Endemol boasts some of the most successful and prominent TV shows in the reality-show space with hits such as “Deal or No Deal,” “Wipeout,” “Fear Factor,” “Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Homemaker.”
“Our No. 1 concern is safety,” Kwatinetz told Yahoo Sports. “Aside from being able to work with the best creative producers possible for this type of show, they’re also the right people to ensure safety and health because they’ve done this for over 20 years in a hundred countries. They’ve specialized in keeping people in quarantined conditions. If anybody knows what they’re doing, it’s them.”
Former NBA stars and current Big3 players such as Joe Johnson, Zach Randolph, Amar’e Stoudemire, Gilbert Arenas and Greg Oden could participate in the tournament, but the selection process has yet to begin.
The Big3 is slated to kick off its fourth regular season June 20 in Memphis.
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