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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by tommyp, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    And when compared, ESPN's numbers are approaching or beating both.
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    The promotional showcase of a sports network approaching the ratings achieved at places where Ugly Betty and Deal Or No Deal are more of a concern? Knock me over with a feather.
  3. fmrsped

    fmrsped Active Member

    Checking in late here, but I think BigRed had one too many last night.
  4. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Not trying to be a know-it-all about how a gamecast is produced, but I have worked in the truck and as part of the on-air crew for games (not NFL)... and I think I see some things you all may not.

    Mr. Lugs laughs at me when I watch sports on TV because a lot of times I find myself "directing the game." I'm calling out, "Cut to Cowher." Or, "Cut to wide shot." Or, "Lose the font." Or, "Get that graphic OFF. It has nothing to do with the action." Or, "Cue up the replay from the end zone camera, please!"

    In my never-humble opinion, ABC's MNF telecast was increasingly not all that viewer-friendly. I've met Fred Gaudelli, and he's a delightful, accomplished superstar in the industry-- I just don't happen to love his style. Ditto the old ABC MNF director. Those two guys are now on NBC SNF.

    In my opinion-- just my opinion-- the producing and directing of the ESPN MNF telecast is far superior. It goes beyond Theisman's comments or celebs in the booth.

    I don't know this for a fact, but it seems like ESPN is using more cameras than NBC, and I do know the shooting is better. (Some of this has to do with union issues. NBC might have to use union photogs - I don't think ESPN does.)

    I do know for a fact that NBC is cutting corners on HD. Some of their hand-helds are SD cameras... though, I acknowledge that such a small percentage of viewers are watching in HD, that this doesn't affect the game's rating.

    A friend of mine who works in the truck told me he's amazed that ESPN doesn't seem to have a single SD shot on its MNF telecasts. It is amazing. And while this doesn't affect viewership-- it does tell you something about the level of commitment to quality. It's the subtle things you may not notice... but from a technical standpoint, it's very cool.

    I'm on record here saying I don't think TK adds anything, btw. I'd much rather have Tom Jackson, Michael Wilbon or Dick Vermeil in the booth.

    I'm just trying to get some of you guys to think about these things in a different way.....
  5. BigRed

    BigRed Active Member

    You would be correct. Post amended.
  6. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Luggie, your comment on ESPN's superior production is a most well-taken point, and since I WATCH television, that's a plus that makes up for a great many Hank Williams Jr. interviews.
    That's the weird thing about ESPN, isn't it? In every venture, every hire, every moment, it seems like the network either achieves the very best or very worst imaginable. Nothing in between.
  7. Canyonero!

    Canyonero! Member

    Niiiiiice :D
  8. tommyp

    tommyp Member

    Most of us who view these games do not tune in with your expectation for a broadcast. And really, the point of my rant was not to comment on the ratings ESPN gets, just the overall quality of the content of the broadcast itself, which to me, takes the focus away from the game. I tune in to see football, not Hank Williams Jr., Emmitt Smith and Dancing with the Stars, Jerry Jones, 10+ different correspondents and fan cams after every other play. I sure as hell don't tune in to see Mike, Joe, and Tony. But I digress...

    Deferring to your knowledge, can you cite some examples for why you feel the overall production/direction is better? If the number of cameras and improved shooting is the thing that makes ESPN's broadcast better (it's all I can gleam from your post), then I'll have no choice but to praise FOX's coverage as superior.
  9. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    FOX's coverage on their 'A' game is fantastic.

    On the lesser games? Not so much. But I don't have a problem with that. Why should they put more cameras on Cardinals-Raiders?

    Tommy, I could go into the some of the intricacies of producing a live gamecast, but it would bore everybody, and I don't have the time or inclination. Just know that it takes a big team of people-- each doing his or her job really well-- to put on a great 'cast. More cameras generally = better 'cast. More technologically advanced truck generally = better 'cast. High talent level of producer and director always = better 'cast... you get the idea.

    Criticizing the cross-promotion shows naivete. You can't pay a billion dollars for something and not cross-promote your other programming. That wouldn't make good business sense. The viewers it "offends" are just going to have to live with it.

    Dools, I've read your latest post several times and have to admit I have no clue what you're trying to say.

    Michael, You obviously have an open mind ... thanks for catching my drift ... It's too hard for me to comment on what you posted because I have so many friends who work there... I'm too close to them... :)
  10. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    I agree. Giants-Cowboys was the first MNF in years where I found production to be noticeably compelling. The direction for once complemented the action on the field. Even the frosting like reaction shots of Aikman and Jones were spot-on. Sure, there were too many shots of face-painters and assorted yahoos, but all in all a very good job. Even Kornheiser and Theismann sounded better. Looks like ESPN has found its footing. We can only hope they've packed the shopworn ABC composition away for good.
  11. tommyp

    tommyp Member

    I understand that, but does it have to be in the middle of game action????? I assume the producer makes the decision to do this, and if so, then to me, it's really bad production. Consider the Smith interview...one of his answers is shorter than the time allotted between plays, then Tirico says he'll ask Smith about Tiki Barber's situation after the play...then a second or two of dead air before the play is run...then the continuation of the interview. Just a bad transition all around.

    And then when an interview is interrupted to describe a big play that might have happened, and then the interview continues, it takes away the reason analysts are there. Actually, any in-game interview takes away from the analysts' roles. And when a sideline reporter interviews a subject during a game, all you see are visuals of the play, leaving the entire booth speechless while the potential for a big play exists, and an inconsequential interview continues. Grabbing Jerry Jones on the sideline is not hard, considering he's always there. Asking him about the QB change is newsworthy, but couldn't it have waited? Couldn't Suzy have used her and her network's influence to gain exclusivity with Jerry once the final gun sounded?

    ESPN starts its Monday Night pre-game coverage at 4 pm ET. It also has 15 minutes at halftime and devotes however much time to post-game. Do you not think that instead of beating a dead horse (TO) that these aforementioned things can be done during all that time?
  12. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    My head was spinning watching ESPN's production the first few weeks. They were overreaching. Too many quick cuts, snaps missed, too many graphics. In short, trying to play with all the toys at once in Christmas morning.
    Things have settled down. NY Giants-Dallas was a smooth production. It looked like a top-line sports telecast, not a close second.
    Ratings? They would have been the same if the game was in 4:3 monochrome. People watch the game, not the show. If the latter was true, the XFL on NBC would have been a big hit.
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