When less is more

An alert reader — thanks, Raleighwood Dawg — sent me this piece posted by ESPN’s Public Editor, who takes some time to explain the thinking behind the network’s ongoing experiment with off site announcers.  You can read the whole thing, but the dynamics involved are summarized in this one paragraph:

No one I talked to at ESPN — neither executives nor talent — suggested that remote broadcasting was an optimal experience. And sources within ESPN say the company has pulled back on the use of remote announcers in the past year. But because of the associated financial savings, the practice is unlikely to be discontinued.

Honestly, this isn’t one of those end of the world issues for me.  While there are announcers who do enhance the viewing experience, there are more who make me want to mute the audio because they’re little more than an annoying distraction.  It would be helpful if Mickey could allocate his precious resources with that in mind, but who am I kidding here?  In today’s world, a chatterbox announcer is often seen more as a feature than a bug.

It’s a shame this experiment by NBC more than thirty years ago didn’t catch on.

I remember watching that game broadcast live (yes, because of the gimmick) and came away enjoying the experience.  Just sayin’, WWL.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

11 responses to “When less is more

  1. 3rdandGrantham

    Mlb extra innings subscribers like myself have the option of choosing ‘ballpark sound’ for their audio, which eliminates the play by play audio and instead gives you the crowd noise only. I absolutely love it and would pay a premium fee to have that option for CFB games.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prosticutor

    There’s a cool feature on Roku that has an option to view a game from that camera flying over the field. I can’t handle that angle the whole game (no replays, for one), but there’s no announcers, no commercials, and you really get a feel for being at the game listening to the fans and actually hear the band.


  3. ESPN did the 2014 championship game that way on one of its channels. With modern camera coverage and HD, it was as close to being there as you could get. That would be a great option for them to do with all high profile games.


  4. Jack Klompus

    Interesting that you linked that game. I heard announcer talk about that one time and all he could talk about was how much less enjoyable that game was and how much announcers enhance the experience.

    Forgive me if I don’t think Andrew Ware does much for my experience.


    • Announcers do Not enhance the experience. They are a distraction
      Half Time: I change channels. I would rather see the half time, on
      the field, show. Make everything as close to being in the stands as possible.


  5. Jack Klompus

    Andre- damn auto correct


  6. Bright Idea

    I just wish the announcers, on-site or remote, could focus on the game rather than blabbering on and on about which 4 teams should make the playoffs or which 68 should make March Madness.


  7. down island way

    Which goes back to the home boys that do the games from court side, ring side or the press box. MUCH better all the way around.


  8. Hugo Stiglitz

    This season I started watching game on mute, and using the Georgia Bulldog app on my phone to listen the Georgia Bulldog radio network. It take a little bit of pausing and fast-forwarding the TV feed to get it lined up, but once I do, it works pretty well. The reason I tried it this year? I couldn’t listen to Jesse Palmer call another game!


  9. acfritze

    I remember when Tennessee played at LSU on a Monday after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For a brief period of time in the first or second quarter, the broadcasters’ audio went out, but the audio on the field did not.

    I loved watching that game and experiencing the sounds of the players, coaches, and – most importantly – sea of LSU fans. Those fans made it easy enough to know when a big play was happening or when a disputed call was made without the noise pollution of a couple of third-party announcers’ stream of consciousness intruding.

    Now that Uncle Verne is gone, I am all for scrapping announcers and color commentators altogether in favor of the audio of a REAL fan experience.