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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Five broadcast tweaks we’d like to see in the MLB Postseason

Make the most of empty seats
I’ve already railed against virtual fans. I’m assuming that since the final three rounds of the playoffs will be held at neutral sites, there won’t be any fan cutouts in the seats (just what we don’t need: cutouts of Astros fans at a potential Cubs-Braves playoff series). That would lead to a perfect opportunity for the networks to make the most of these empty seats and experiment with new camera angles. I feel like only a few RSNs have taken advantage of the opportunity this year, and if there’s any time to take advantage of it, it’s during the playoffs at neutral site venues.

Even though teams and networks have all this technology at their disposal, the core broadcast itself doesn’t feel like it’s evolved all that much. While pushing that evolution in the playoffs is something of a gamble, networks are never going to get a better time with all of the empty seats and concourses. And even if that’s just a short-term change with fans theoretically returning to ballparks next year, it could at least represent a base for future long-term changes.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 06:07 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: broadcasting

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5978444)
6) No ads during plate appearances, mound visits, etc.
   2. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 24, 2020 at 11:22 AM (#5978454)
When I was a kid the split screen was a common occurrence. If there was a fast runner on you'd get the split screen to see if he was stealing. That stopped being done long ago but it's strange to me that it's never come back. With broadcasts in HD and most screens legitimately rectangular you have a lot more real estate. Give me a split of the runner and the fielder or show me a fast runner.

It doesn't even have to be a full split. Some kind of small insert at the bottom so you can see where the runners are going would be interesting in my opinion.
   3. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5978464)
Something that you see a lot in older broadcasts that is very much under-utilized is the view from behind the umpire. That view can be amazing, especially in replay using the modern high-speed cameras. It makes how hard hard the job is for the hitter so much easier to appreciate.

How about 3 announcers in the booth, someone from national, and color guys from the two opposing teams? That would be interesting.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5978465)
Something that you see a lot in older broadcasts that is very much under-utilized is the view from behind the umpire. That view can be amazing, especially in replay using the modern high-speed cameras. It makes how hard hard the job is for the hitter so much easier to appreciate.
Funny, I had that exact thought while watching a game last night.
   5. Jay Seaver Posted: September 24, 2020 at 02:17 PM (#5978510)
Something that you see a lot in older broadcasts that is very much under-utilized is the view from behind the umpire. That view can be amazing, especially in replay using the modern high-speed cameras. It makes how hard hard the job is for the hitter so much easier to appreciate.


NESN's been using that one occasionally during Red Sox games - there's a big unmanned camera where the high-rollers and scouts would usually be - but seem to have cut back as it became very clear that the announcers didn't like it. Part of it is it not being what they're used to, but I suspect calling a game from that perspective is pretty hard because of the same reasons it's hard for the hitter (you would figure that most of the time they have the standard views on their studio screens as well as what's going out, but that doesn't always seem to be the case).
   6. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 24, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5978518)
Something that you see a lot in older broadcasts that is very much under-utilized is the view from behind the umpire. That view can be amazing, especially in replay using the modern high-speed cameras. It makes how hard hard the job is for the hitter so much easier to appreciate.


Yeah, that's a great view on a ball in play. You can see everything happening at once.

I suspect calling a game from that perspective is pretty hard because of the same reasons it's hard for the hitter


What feed are announcers getting? Are they watching the same thing we are watching or are they getting an "announcer cam" that gives them the whole field (rink, court, etc...)? I'd think they'd be getting a special whole field view but I don't know.
   7. Jay Seaver Posted: September 24, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5978537)
For NESN, I seem to recall that there are two giant screens off-camera in the studio, and I figured one was something akin to their usual vantage point while the other was what was being broadcast, but sometimes it seems like they're only what we are. You'd think they'd have installed a big ol' 4K camera at some spot that covers the entire field, but it's not something that they've shown off.

Speaking of 4K, I'm curious what the infrastructure necessary for that would be, whether it's something cable has the bandwidth/specifications for or if you'd have to use the MLB app on one's Roku to stream an ultra-HD broadcast. You could probably do some amazing things with broader camera angles and I'll bet some of the colors would really pop with HDR.

(Same with 3D, but I've long accepted that I'm one of a couple dozen people in North America who like it)
   8. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 24, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5978551)
I think 3D doesn't become practical until it becomes practical without glasses. I know it CAN be done but my understanding is that it is not something that is cost effective for virtually everyone who isn't Jeff Bezos.
   9. Astroenteritis Posted: September 24, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5978558)
just what we don’t need: cutouts of Astros fans at a potential Cubs-Braves playoff series


What, you don't want to see George and Barbara behind home plate? Yeah, nor do I.
   10. Jay Seaver Posted: September 24, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5978559)
I think 3D doesn't become practical until it becomes practical without glasses.


I keep thinking that but there seems to be some quiet excitement about the new Oculus headset, although it seems to be coming from the gaming community rather than TV/film. I kind of feel like it's going to sneak up on people, maybe not ready for this year but a couple down the road.

I'd still love to see sports broadcast in UltraHD or even the crazy high frame rate stuff that Peter Jackson and Ang Lee have used for a few movies; the results are stunning when you've got a good source and a good receiver, but I suspect HD is about where a lot of people watching things passively in a reasonably-sized den stop seeing major improvements.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 24, 2020 at 07:01 PM (#5978586)
While we’re on this topic, does MLB think it can only sell ads between innings on MLB.TV to like two advertisers at a time? So ####### sick of the same Limu Emu ad after every damn inning.
   12. Buck Coats Posted: September 24, 2020 at 07:01 PM (#5978587)
It doesn't even have to be a full split. Some kind of small insert at the bottom so you can see where the runners are going would be interesting in my opinion.


This is exactly my argument - when the batter hits a ball in the gap and the runner is trying to score - don't cut between them! Just do picture-in-picture, show me the runner and the ball.

Basically I think the ball should never be not on screen.
   13. The Duke Posted: September 24, 2020 at 10:47 PM (#5978632)
Do announcers watch tv screen or the game? I can’t imagine calling a game by looking at the tv
   14. Jay Seaver Posted: September 24, 2020 at 10:53 PM (#5978635)
Most are working remotely out of studios this year, so they're working off screens by default.
   15. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 25, 2020 at 08:04 AM (#5978672)
So ####### sick of the same Limu Emu ad after every damn inning.


The 13 year olds I coach love the Limu Emu.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:22 AM (#5978677)

The 13 year olds I coach love the Limu Emu.


My kids love the Progressive ads. It is weird that insurance companies are targeting kids so much.
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:25 AM (#5978678)
The 13 year olds I coach love the Limu Emu.
Would they love it on repeat every 10 minutes?
   18. Ron J Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:30 AM (#5978679)
Maybe not by the time they're 13. A little younger though ...
   19. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5978680)
Would they love it on repeat every 10 minutes?


Based on how often I hear the phrase "Limu Emu...and Doug!" from the dugout, yes they would.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5978681)
New team policy: Anyone quoting any insurance commercial in the dugout is immediately sent home.
   21. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:48 AM (#5978682)
No commercial since the camel walking around the office yelling "It's hump day!" has had this kind of staying power with the kids. I can still hear Josh repeating that over and ####### over again.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: September 25, 2020 at 09:59 AM (#5978684)
Recently I saw a dude maybe in his late 50s in the supermarket wearing a "It's Hump Day!" t-shirt.

it was, indeed, Wednesday. I was tempted to ask if he has any other gear that should only be worn on certain days.
   23. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5978690)
Sure I've seen it a million times, but the Libbity Bibbity Struggling Actor spot cracks me up every time. "Am I allowed to riff?"

The Dikembe Mutombo one is great too. "Not in my house! Ha! Ha! Ha!"
   24. bunyon Posted: September 25, 2020 at 10:31 AM (#5978693)
Having the announcers quit is a feature not a bug of the behind the camera shot.

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