Category Archives: Television

The SkyCam Sham

Last night’s telecast of Thursday Night Football featured the presumed innovation of showing the majority of the game from the SkyCam angle. With a few exceptions, most of the plays were shot from the perspective of the camera floating above the field on a couple of wires.

This was supposed to be a good idea.

So how’d it go? Admittedly, I only watched brief stretches of the game–there was a Dubs game on last night, plus, seriously, who wanted to look at a Broncos-Colts match?–but I saw enough to form something of an intelligent opinion.

The early returns are not encouraging. Continue reading The SkyCam Sham

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Monday Spites Football

It’s halftime of the Kings-Warriors game as I write this. Tonight’s Dubs game represents the fourth out of the last five Mondays to see the defending NBA champions play a game. The three most recent of those games were home games for the Warriors, meaning they had at least some say in the scheduling of those games; start times for sure, if not the actual dates.

A quick look forward at the schedule shows that the Warriors will also be playing each of the next four Mondays; that is to say, each Monday in December, including the Christmas day matchup against the Cavaliers. That means the team will be playing on all but one Monday in November and December.

So what? So this: the Warriors, and a lot of other teams in leagues other than the NFL, almost never used to play on Monday nights in November and December. This scheduling intrusion indicates that the assault on the NFL’s elevated status continues apace. It means, quite simply, that no one is afraid of the NFL anymore. Continue reading Monday Spites Football

The Sports TV Mystery Machine

The DFR has been on a bit of an Extendo-Break lately–maybe more like an Extendo-Nap, to be honest–so I’ve been letting any number of things that have been percolating through the sports world slide on past without comment.

 

Thus, instead of trying to chase down the latest outrage to comment on until it cries ‘uncle,’ my thoughts turn to something more like a perennial topic:

How in the hell do the game broadcasts, across all sports and networks, manage to sync up the commercial breaks so perfectly?
Continue reading The Sports TV Mystery Machine

Camera Work From Camera Jerks

Postseason, regular season, any season–it doesn’t matter: greed never has an off-season.

I call this truism to everyone’s attention because I just noticed a new money-grubbing wrinkle while watching game 1 of the ALCS on FS1: the computer-imposed ads, usually seen behind home plate on the backstop, have now metastasized onto the batter’s eye in center field.

Continue reading Camera Work From Camera Jerks

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Say ‘Que?’

There’s been a lot of surprising and puzzling things going on early in this NFL season, but maybe the most surprising and puzzling thing is happening not on the field, but on your television.

Why exactly is ESPN broadcasting Monday Night Football in Spanish on ESPN2?

The standard bilge from the network will undoubtedly tell you that it’s a move intended to further build viewership in that oh-so-important demographic, but I suspect there’s more going on here than meets the eye and ear. And it’s at least as much about what’s going wrong with ESPN as it is about courting Spanish-language viewers for the network and its NFL partner.

Continue reading Say ‘Que?’