Logo for the DFR Audible post categoryMore stupidity from the MLB Network.

I haven’t been watching a lot of games on MLB Network lately–there are only so many Yankees vs. Red Sox games you can take in one lifetime–but when I have hit the channel once in a while, I’ve noticed that their game coverage now “features” a constant, persistent graphic in the upper right corner showing the fielders’ defensive alignment. The field representation stays up on the screen not just when the defense sets up in an exaggerated shift, but even when the fielders are playing in standard defensive position.

This is beyond idiotic. Anyone who can be bothered to tune in to MLB Network already knows perfectly well what a standard defensive alignment looks like, and if the defense sets up in a shift, that fact can be relayed to the viewer easily enough with one quick cut to a whole field camera angle. Look, the third baseman has moved over to the other side of second base. Got it? Good, let’s move on with the at bat. Indeed, all the viewer really needs is for the announcer to mention that the defense has gone into a shift–in other words, for the announcer to do his job. The field-shaped graphic is utterly superfluous.

This nonsense continues the trend of cluttering up the screen with too many damn graphics during game broadcasts. The illness started with FOX back in the day, but has now metastasized across every channel of sports coverage. And while dumb people might think they’re getting more out of a broadcast with every Chyron graphic that’s vomited onto the screen, but what they’re really getting is lazy, uninspired video production. That’s what passes for sports broadcasting these days.

And then broadcasters will have the nerve to wonder why their ratings keep going down.


2 thoughts on “Indefensible Graphic

  1. I 100% agree with you. And the split screen interviews during the playoff games are an absolute joke. It’s the playoffs! Isn’t that exciting enough to watch? Can’t you just use the audio of the interviews? And don’t you cut away from an interview to go full screen while a crucial homerun is being hit?


    1. First, thanks for visiting the DFR.
      You make a good point about the split screen interviews, but still further: why are they bothering the managers in the middle of a playoff game? Don’t they have enough to worry about with their entire season on the line?
      The reality is, there’s so much that today’s broadcasters do to make the game telecast “better,” but all it really does is make it worse. No one understands that “less is more” anymore. And then at the end of the postseason we’ll see stories about how the ratings reached historic lows. Gee, I wonder why. All we can do is complain, I guess.


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