Logo for the DFR Audible post categoryCleaning The Glass

I have been watching more hockey this season. Certainly more than last season.

This has at least a little bit to do with the local San Jose Sharks’ success last season. After all, a Stanly Cup Final run will get your attention.

However, I think my willingness to tune in and give over my valuable time has as much to do with what I’m not seeing as it does with what I am seeing. Simply put: I’m more willing to tune in because–mirabile dictu–those damn ads have disappeared from the glass at the ends of the rink.

I spat quite a bit of poison about this in the past, so it’s right and proper that I give credit for something a positive reversal. The computer-generated banners on the glass behind the goals that have been plaguing TV broadcasts of NHL games these past few years have, at least for the moment, disappeared from Sharks games on CSN California.

That qualifier “at least for the moment” is important. I’m not fool enough to believe that the combination of the Sharks and CSN have gotten religion on not soiling their product with those ugly banners. As likely as not, the recent run of games sans “window-dressing” is a respite, not a permanent change for the better.

Nor do I believe that my humble efforts are what made the difference. Certainly, nobody reached out to me about how my campaign against those obnoxious, distracting, and just plain ugly blemishes on the game were instrumental in convincing anyone of the error of his ways.

But somehow, someway, it seems that San Jose and CSN management have made the decision to cool it with the visual clutter at least for a while. And that’s a very good thing, and should be commended. Thanks, broadcast partners.

(I note, via other sources such as NHL Network, that fans watching other teams’ broadcasts are not so fortunate, and the visual trash remains for them. My sympathies to all so afflicted.)

As for what the future holds, I’m on record as stating that I don’t particularly mind the on-the-boards advertising overlays such as we saw on ESPN during the World Cup of Hockey. If the local broadcasts want to go that direction, and leave the ads on the boards where we’ve gotten used to them (and where they actually can provide some texture to the scene, and not draw the eye off the ice surface), then so be it. I won’t complain about that.

Of course, they could just be satisfied with the revenue they accrue from the ads that are physically painted onto the boards and be done with it. That should be sufficient, shouldn’t it? Right?



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