By Coach Ryan
Every sports fan has been there. You watch your favorite team all year listening to your home town announcers and then if you’re lucky your team makes it to the playoffs or maybe even a championship. The only problem is once your team gets there you are stuck with the Joe Bucks of the world over the broadcasting team you have been watching for the past six months. I can still remember watching the Cleveland Indians during the playoffs with my grandfather and him muting the audio so he could listen to our local radio announcer. If you are a major fan of a team you feel like you build a relationship with your broadcasters only to be stripped away from them when you need them most because let’s be honest nobody knows your team better than they do. But what if that was about to change?
In what is a risky yet brilliant idea Turner will be showing this year’s Final Four on not just one but three cable channels. According to Sports Business Daily Tuner will be airing the semi final games on TBS, TNT, and truTV at the same time. The twist is each channel will be giving you a different perspective on the game. The normal National broadcasters (more than likely Jim Nantz, Steve Kerr, Greg Anthony and Tracy Wolfson) will be broadcasting on TBS while the other two options will be giving different announcers and camera angles. What does this mean? For the fans of the teams in those games they will be able to listen to their home town announcers giving them insight that is geared directly to them. The non sports fan might think this is overkill but the idea of listening to the voices you are familiar with will make the whole experience mean more to sports fans and actually will add to the excitement they are feeling.
As genius of a move this appears to be it does come with some risk. Traditionally when you take sporting events from national television and put them on cable the ratings tend the drop but with the popularity of the Final Four this seems less likely to happen. Although fans will have this test option for the Final Four, the National Championship will still be airing on CBS as one broadcast.
For once this might be a great year to have major programs make the Final Four as opposed to a Cinderella team just to get this idea some momentum. A team such as Kansas with a huge following could give the ratings Turner is hoping for that perhaps a VCU couldn’t. If these broadcasts fail to gain any interest it could be the end of a great idea. If it works the possibilities of major networks doing multiple broadcasts for major events could be huge. The World Series, The Stanley Cup Finals, and The NBA Finals all could be possibilities down the road for fans to get their local journalist broadcasting games and could open a new door to new and exciting options in the world of sports broadcasting. Here’s to hoping that Turner is able to get the ball rolling with some creative and effective advertising which could change the way fans view the multibillion-dollar industry that is sports.