Film About NBA Game-Fixing Ref Tim Donaghy to Release this Fall

  • Film based on Donaghy's game-fixing activity also explores links to organized crime
  • 2007 FBI investigation uncovered scandal of illegal activities, leading to charges in case
  • Material from NBA ref's personal memoir while serving prison sentence incorporated into film
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Eric Mabius will star as convicted referee Tim Donaghy in Inside Game, the story of the game-fixing affair that rocked the sporting world.

November Release Date Set

Film distribution companies Raw Milk and iDreamMachine have announced a November 1, 2019 release date for Inside Game, an upcoming docudrama examining the National Basketball Association (NBA) game-fixing scandal centered on former referee Tim Donaghy.

Earlier this week, the ex-NBA official publicized the news of the film release on his Twitter account:

Inside Game features actor Eric Mabius as Donaghy, the veteran NBA official whose betting activity on NBA games he officiated was uncovered in 2007. Donaghy’s illegal activity surfaced during an FBI investigation into organized crime’s reach into American professional sports.

The film, produced by 818 Media Productions, Aarimax Films, and Michael Pierce Studios, depicts how the US’s FBI uncovered the game-fixing scandal centered on Donaghy.

News of the NBA-related investigation first surfaced in early July of 2007. Donaghy, a veteran of 13 NBA seasons and nearly 800 refereed games, resigned less than two weeks later as charges loomed.

Former school buddies formed cheating ring

Investigators determined that Donaghy shared privileged inside NBA information while also betting on games he refereed during the NBA’s 2005-6 and 2006-7 seasons.

He received payments of several thousand dollars for each correct pick he tabbed for his friends.

Donaghy tipped off childhood friends Tommy Martino (played by Scott Wolf) and bookie James “Baba” Battista (played by Will Sasso) about which team was likely to win. In addition to his own bets, he received payments of several thousand dollars for each correct pick he tabbed for his friends.

All three men were eventually tried and convicted in connection with the game-fixing scandal. Donaghy faced as much as 33 months in prison for his crimes. He later reached a plea deal to serve 15 months while also paying a $500,000 fine.

Donaghy also received treatment for the addictive gambling behavior, which he cited as having fueled his decision to start the illegal activity.

While in prison, Donaghy also began working on a memoir, which was eventually published as Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA. Material from that book was incorporated into Inside Game.

Release to focus on NBA cities

Initial release plans announced by Raw Milk and iDreamMachine will place Inside Game on over 100 screens. The film will appear in over 20 American cities, or nearly every US metro market currently hosting an NBA team.

The 1:37 thriller was written by Andy Callahan and produced by Michael Pierce, Paul Martino, Randall Batinkoff, and Robert Capelli. International distribution plans have yet to be announced.