Friday, November 07, 2008

Notes on the NFL Network

Last night, I watched a live game on the NFL Network for the first time. My understanding of the NFL Network is that the NFL is engaging in some vertical integration to retain some of the revenues of broadcasting a game. Rather than outsourcing the cinemagraphic version of their product to CBS, ESPN, or Fox and paying a fee, they create their own network and keep it in house. Now having observed it, some notes:
  • The pre-game and hype building is significantly better than any other station. The lack of significant opportunity costs and greater internalization of the benefits for this network allows them to really dive into the story of the teams.

  • Sounds of the game are terrible: When you watch the game you want to get a feeling of the emotion of the crowd. When something exciting happens in Cleveland Browns Stadium, your ears bleed. Cleveland is a city that overreacts to every smidgen of success because they know how short lived it will be. During the game, the apparent absence of any crowd mic's really stripped the game of that feeling of crowd intensity.

  • Video of the game: Worse than others, but not terrible. They choose bizarre shots that are just upsetting. They brought the camera angle just behind the running back for a play, and I had no good sense of how many yards were gained on the run (I could tell it was between zero and ten, but it turned out to be eight.)

  • Instant replay: They are slighlty too judicious with it for my taste, but more annoying is that they seem to lack a smooth transition from the live feed to the replay. The screen pauses, appears to start to slowly rewind, you look down at your DirectTV remote to see if you accidentally hit "back," but then the replay starts. Irritating.

No comments: