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.