Ice Cube’s Big3 basketball league is partnering with media production company Endemol to create a planned reality show basketball tournament amid the global Covid-19 pandemic.
As part of the plans, 16 players will take part in a three-week tournament in a specifically quarantined location in Los Angeles. Participants, which could include female players, and referees must have negative coronavirus test result to take part.
The games and behind-the-scenes action will all be recorded to create a program, tentatively titled Big Brother: Big3. Endemol is the producer of global reality show Big Brother, which airs on CBS in the United States.
It is hoped that the series, which is scheduled for May, will be broadcast on CBS in the US and gain global distribution.
“No one is allowed to leave the quarantine area. That’s part of what keeps the safety and health of the players,” Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz told USA Today. “It also dovetails with what makes Big Brother so great. You have a group of 16 people locked in a house together and the social dynamics that come out of that. One minute, you’re hanging out with someone in the house. That night you have to play them. Our games are very physical and very competitive. Then you’re back in the house with the same people. So it definitely lends itself to some drama.”
It remains unclear, however, whether the tournament will go ahead as announced due to the ongoing health crisis. Few other details have been announced such as the identity of the participants, the rules, schedule or potential sponsors.
Earlier this month, Big3 decided to abandon its touring model for its planned fourth season.
The three-on-three league, which usually travels from city to city across the US every weekend, is planning to play “at an intimate, safe, controlled non-arena venue in Los Angeles” for six weeks from July 11-August 15.
It is hoped that three dates already on sale – June 20 (Memphis), June 27 (New York), and August 22 playoffs (Portland) – will continue as planned. The Los Angeles facility will serve as a contingency plan if those three venues are moved.
In January, the Big3 announced a series of major structural changes to its format, led by a rebranding of its 3-on-3 form of basketball as an entirely new sport called Fireball3. Last month, Big3 also extended its domestic broadcast partnership with CBS Sports for the 2020 season.