Should this concern MLB?

Is baseball getting too boring for today’s tv viewer? TV contracts is where the big money is. Consider Boston/New England is a very strong baseball market. Last weekend’s regular season football game between the Patriots and Vikings had higher viewer numbers than every Red Sox playoff game except game five (clincher) of the World Series. The football game drew bigger numbers than every Red Sox - Yankees playoff game. 

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Is the game too boring, or is the broadcast too boring? This is a very interesting article about how the NHL is planning for a future where no one has cable tv, and very few people just sit on their couch and watch a game. I think it's kind of visionary.

https://theathletic.com/689271...ooks-very-different/

If you don't have a The Athletic subscription, this article doesn't do it justice but might give you the gist:

https://sportsradiopd.com/nhl-...he-industrys-future/

This thread comes up pretty frequently.  IMO like everything else since the Civil War change is coming at an accelerating pace.  

The advent of the phone as computer 10 years ago laid the ground work for all cords to be cut.  That is going to destroy almost all models going forward that do not include viewing on demand.  My kids laugh at me because I watch stuff on TV when it is scheduled.  Everything is about ease of watching on my terms when I want to watch.  

It is very possible that the very thing baseball purists love about the game - there is no clock, might be the very thing that dooms it as a big time sports enterprise.  Time itself has been recognized as the worlds most valuable commodity.  As such anything that wastes it or makes no impact is discarded or ignored.  If you are being honest about it, that is just about every baseball game from April through August. 

IMO Baseball needs to totally reinvent itself and ideas on what they should do have had dozens of threads here.

The Athletic article (minus a couple of pictures and a video).

Imagine what could be done with baseball and other sports

THE FUTURE OF NHL TV BROADCASTS IS COMING AND IT LOOKS VERY DIFFERENT

The future NHL broadcast may include some or all of the following elements: multiple screens, three dimensions, swearing, 4K definition, interactivity with announcers, personalized isolated camera shots, a north-south view instead of east-west, and gambling on who scores next.

What it will not be: sitting on the couch and staring at the television screen on your wall. That concept is as much of a relic as a black-and-white set with rabbit ears.

Jack Edwards, who handles play by play duties for Bruins broadcasts on NESN, does not even consider the gigantic, shiny, and crystal-clear set in your living room to be your primary device in the years to come. Because if the majority of today’s viewers use a phone, tablet, or laptop to complement the television, it’s assured that tomorrow’s hockey fans will not just do the same, but will amplify such usage.

“The last briefing I got from NESN on this subject — where our audience is technologically — was about five years ago. One hundred percent of the people we surveyed under 30, every single person under 30, had a second screen going during a Red Sox or Bruins game,” Edwards said. “It’s part of life. Now, that might have been text messaging a boyfriend or girlfriend, or going to hockey-reference.com. But it was a second screen. And if there’s a second screen diverting that person’s attention, that’s revenue either lost by the primary screen or to be won the primary rightsholder.”

TV used to be a passive experience. You sat back, watched, and listened to the game.

But there is a reason the industry hungers for optimal audience engagement. Shifts in technology and viewing habits have made the viewer an active participant. You don’t just watch a hockey game. You consume it by clicking, swiping, maximizing, minimizing, optimizing, commenting, and tweeting your way through three periods, overtime, and shootout, engaging not just with the game, but with other members of your hockey-crazed community.

The future will be all this on steroids.

On-ice immersion

Sam Flood has a specific wish list. The executive producer of NBC Sports wants near-unlimited access when future viewers experience his network’s broadcasts. That means microphones on every player and coach, cameras atop every helmet, and freedom to air every delicious curse that is hockey’s soundtrack — one that currently requires bleeping.

“It would be two different screens,” Flood said. “One would be the traditional telecast: play-by-play, inside the glass, analyst. The other would be, ‘Here we go, on the ice with these guys.’ Players and coaches fully miked. F’s and S’s get used a lot. It’s the unfiltered stuff that is so incredible. You’d be hearing all the cute exchanges people have, the exchanges between opponents. I think it would be an incredible way to consume the game.”

The trick that hockey has perpetually tried to turn is translating the energy inside the rink to the viewer on the couch. No sport crackles in person like hockey because of the way it attacks every sense: the sight of the speed, the sound of the hits, the feel of the glass on your fists, the taste of an expensive but refreshing beverage, even the smell of the funk rising from both benches. It is impossible to package all of this onto a two-dimensional screen.

“If we could find a way to bring the element of what it’s like to watch live,” Bruins president Cam Neely said of his ideal broadcast. “Because I still think it’s the best live sport. TV’s a little more challenging, although HD has made a huge difference.”

This season at TD Garden, NESN has introduced what it calls the ankle cam, a low camera within the end boards that several teams and networks have begun using this year. It gives the casual viewer another perspective of the sport’s speed. For the enthusiast, it is a different lens through which to understand the game’s nuances.

The more cameras, the better.

“I’m amazed by how Patrice Bergeron wins as many puck battles as he does,” said NESN analyst Andy Brickley. “You see him in his suit, you say, ‘No way, right? He’s 185 pounds or whatever he is. How does he win these battles?’ Now with an ice-level camera — we call it an ankle camera because we do have one now this year — you can see his technique, his leverage, and why he wins battles. I love that. I think the viewers like that.”

As an analyst, one of Brickley’s challenges is to serve both the casual and hardcore markets. It may not be a worry in the future. Like everything in life, sports is trending toward customization. Amazon recommends other items you might like based on prior purchases. You have a personalized Facebook feed.

At the rink, additional cameras, perhaps unmanned, will be programmed to follow specific targets: the puck, players, systems.

So if you are a hockey geek interested in monitoring, for example, proper shorthanded stick placement, you will be able to go picture-in-picture — the standard puck-following view in one box, a penalty killer in another — with an isolation camera. You may even experience what it’s like to skate next to a player.

Jed Drake, formerly ESPN’s senior vice president of product innovation, believes sporting events will be broadcast holographically. According to that concept, you could theoretically step inside a shift and feel like you are on the ice.

If watching holograms sounds out there, think of this: Scrapping the traditional left-to-right shot. The view from Camera 1, as it is commonly called, is the one everybody knows. But it does not capture the whirls, sprints, and approach vectors that the players and the puck take around the rink.

Consider that coaches, when going through their pre-scouts on opponents, usually prefer an overhead shot. It provides more intelligence on systems play than the view from Camera 1.

“Overhead for systems,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Absolutely.”

Video games like EA Sports’s NHL franchise use a north-south view. By installing cables and pulleys for cameras, like the overhead shot seen in many NFL games, teams could outfit their arenas to make these shots reality.

NBC took a step away from Camera 1 during the All-Star Game in January at Tampa’s Amalie Arena. The network used JitaCam, a system using a 360-degree camera mounted above the ice. It was a swoopy look that that felt like it pulled the viewer closer to the action.

Shifting away from Camera 1 full-time might be a jarring change for the viewer. But it would provide a better approximation of how the game is played.

Broadcasters, teams, and the league are required to enhance the consumption experience. The industry’s survival is counting on it.

Keeping them hooked

“No one will admit it,” Edwards said. “But there’s audience erosion on every single break. Every single break. Even if it’s a 1-1 game and there’s 90 seconds to go in regulation, we still lose audience. They go searching around. Sometimes it’s an infinitesimal loss. But it’s never positive. Nobody ever stops on an ad and says, ‘OK, I’m going to wait.’ You don’t pick up audience during ads.”

Networks like NESN earn revenue from subscribers and advertisers. But the business is under assault on multiple fronts. Viewers have hundreds of other traditional channels one push away. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu offer deep content. Cord-cutting is common practice.

Then there are the auxiliary devices with their shows, games, and social media available with one swipe. It is not good business for Ford, for example, to purchase an ad touting the next F-150 if standard viewer practice is to change the channel, pick up the phone, or not be watching the broadcast altogether. It does NBC no good to pay $200 million annually for NHL rights if its business partners identify more efficient avenues to target their consumers.

Today’s viewers are flooded with options and struggle with attention span. Imagine what tomorrow’s watchers will be like.

It’s why every party involved is intent on making the product so good — the quality of both the game and broadcast — that viewers have no choice but to watch. It may even be that hockey follows the soccer model of no commercial breaks. Fewer hands would be reaching for remotes if the three TV timeouts per period were eliminated, with advertisers blending their products into the broadcast via scrolls, graphics, or a yet-to-be-considered innovation.

“The audience is splintering more and more every day,” Edwards said. “The one thing we have that’s a magnet, that’s a surefire winner, is the quality of action on the ice and the game we’re offering. The more people you offer that to, the better you’ll do.”

Which is why audio may be just as critical as video. Part of the reason HBO’s 24/7 series was so revolutionary was because of what the coaches and players said: Peter Laviolette ripping the officiating at the Bell Centre as “Montreal typical,” Bruce Boudreau cursing with every other word, Dan Bylsma praising Deryk Engelland for fighting Colton Orr.

Salty language stole the show.

“I’ve had numerous conversations with (commissioner) Gary (Bettman) and others in the league about someday trying it,” Flood said. “Not yet. It’s a pretty big risk. How does it alter the way people play the game? You never want to interrupt athletic competition.”

Networks will also have to master gambling on sports, which is approaching quickly. In November, NESN hired Rick Jaffe as vice president of programming and production. Jaffe previously worked as executive producer at Vegas Stats & Information Network, which is dedicated to sports gambling.

Such experts are in high demand. It’s guaranteed that the networks that optimize the gambling interface will have greater audience retention — and, thereby, more revenue.

“The odds on (David Pastrnak) scoring the next goal. Bergeron coming back from the dead for the next goal. Whatever it may be,” Flood said. “You’ll have the ability to predict who will score the next goal, which team, and the odds for all that.”

Perhaps the most efficient way to blend the game, broadcast, and gambling is through the second screen. It would take just one tap on your phone to bet on the outcome you’re watching with your eyes.

This would become even easier if second-screen broadcasts became the norm. Viewers, after all, are no longer leashed to the couch. Connectivity is everywhere, from the sports bar to the airport lounge to the Uber back seat. Since 2017 Bruins fans who subscribe to NESN through a cable provider have been able to stream games on the NESNgo app.

“How do you get more eyeballs?” Neely asked? “You give them more opportunity to watch the game wherever they are.”

In that way, television can be considered an outdated description. People in the industry already talk about electronic media devices more than the TV on the wall. The future is whatever gadget it is airing whatever game possible.

TV of tomorrow will be about you. None of the players involved has any other choice.

Tv contracts are bigger than ever although I'm not sure if that is sustainable for the stations.

What will be a challenge is when streaming replaces cable. I wonder if they can get the same revenue then.

I don't think the modern game is the problem though. 

I do think the modern game is a problem. The primary reason for saying that is fine that many hardcore baseball people find the modern game lacking, it is long and slow, to be honest it lacks action as well. The lack of competitive teams is also a problem but I think it has always been and don't think that will ever change. As a business owner if you look at the NFL model you should find a better way to try and copy or at least borrow from it. I don't think baseball does a real good job of that.

I still love the game as no doubt most everyone here does but when I listen to people both hard core fans and casual ones my gut tells me the game is going the wrong way. 

RJM posted:

Is baseball getting too boring for today’s tv viewer? TV contracts is where the big money is. Consider Boston/New England is a very strong baseball market. Last weekend’s regular season football game between the Patriots and Vikings had higher viewer numbers than every Red Sox playoff game except game five (clincher) of the World Series. The football game drew bigger numbers than every Red Sox - Yankees playoff game. 

I think the "money" in baseball broadcasting is that you have 162 games versus the 16 for football.  Ratings lower?  Maybe.  But, you get 162 broadcasts of advertising revenue versus 16 broadcasts.  Think of it this way:  Would you rather get $50 sixteen times, or, $10 one hundred and sixty two times?

Imagine 3D / virtual reality immersion into baseball.  You can go anywhere you want on the field to watch the game. You can feel the breeze blowing in your face, feel the gnats swarming you in Cleveland, smell the “ambiance” of The Coliseum in Oakland, have a NYY or Cub fan throw beer at you or enjoy a nice August game in Arlington when it is 101 degrees at sunset. 

On the plus side, you won’t have to listen to Joe Buck say “launch angle thing”.

If the TV is going the way of the dinosaur, then why do I see videos every year of Black Friday riots in Walmart when a mob of people charge the Big Screen aisle?

As for Baseball, it will only fade & die when the youth level participation dwindles down to nothing. As long as MLB focuses on a drive to keep youth interest in playing, that will translate into future consumers of the product.

Steve A. posted:

If the TV is going the way of the dinosaur, then why do I see videos every year of Black Friday riots in Walmart when a mob of people charge the Big Screen aisle?

As for Baseball, it will only fade & die when the youth level participation dwindles down to nothing. As long as MLB focuses on a drive to keep youth interest in playing, that will translate into future consumers of the product.

Hey!  Where you been?

rat conditioning

 

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Go44dad posted:

Imagine 3D / virtual reality immersion into baseball.  You can go anywhere you want on the field to watch the game. You can feel the breeze blowing in your face, feel the gnats swarming you in Cleveland, smell the “ambiance” of The Coliseum in Oakland, have a NYY or Cub fan throw beer at you or enjoy a nice August game in Arlington when it is 101 degrees at sunset. 

On the plus side, you won’t have to listen to Joe Buck say “launch angle thing”.

If that VR system can recreate the taste of a proper fish taco then I say bring it on.

OskiSD posted:
Go44dad posted:

Imagine 3D / virtual reality immersion into baseball.  You can go anywhere you want on the field to watch the game. You can feel the breeze blowing in your face, feel the gnats swarming you in Cleveland, smell the “ambiance” of The Coliseum in Oakland, have a NYY or Cub fan throw beer at you or enjoy a nice August game in Arlington when it is 101 degrees at sunset. 

On the plus side, you won’t have to listen to Joe Buck say “launch angle thing”.

If that VR system can recreate the taste of a proper fish taco then I say bring it on.

Sorry, even advanced AI know that fish doesn't go in tacos.  

Picadillo, barbacoa, lengua, carne guisada, chorizo, eggs, bacon, potatoes all OK.

Go44dad posted:
OskiSD posted:
Go44dad posted:

Imagine 3D / virtual reality immersion into baseball.  You can go anywhere you want on the field to watch the game. You can feel the breeze blowing in your face, feel the gnats swarming you in Cleveland, smell the “ambiance” of The Coliseum in Oakland, have a NYY or Cub fan throw beer at you or enjoy a nice August game in Arlington when it is 101 degrees at sunset. 

On the plus side, you won’t have to listen to Joe Buck say “launch angle thing”.

If that VR system can recreate the taste of a proper fish taco then I say bring it on.

Sorry, even advanced AI know that fish doesn't go in tacos.  

Picadillo, barbacoa, lengua, carne guisada, chorizo, eggs, bacon, potatoes all OK.

Man, you need to get to Mexico!  ..OK, maybe not the best advice at the moment.

Steve A. posted:

If the TV is going the way of the dinosaur, then why do I see videos every year of Black Friday riots in Walmart when a mob of people charge the Big Screen aisle?

As for Baseball, it will only fade & die when the youth level participation dwindles down to nothing. As long as MLB focuses on a drive to keep youth interest in playing, that will translate into future consumers of the product.

How tv is done is going the way of the dinosaur.

cabbagedad posted:
Go44dad posted:
OskiSD posted:
Go44dad posted:

Imagine 3D / virtual reality immersion into baseball.  You can go anywhere you want on the field to watch the game. You can feel the breeze blowing in your face, feel the gnats swarming you in Cleveland, smell the “ambiance” of The Coliseum in Oakland, have a NYY or Cub fan throw beer at you or enjoy a nice August game in Arlington when it is 101 degrees at sunset. 

On the plus side, you won’t have to listen to Joe Buck say “launch angle thing”.

If that VR system can recreate the taste of a proper fish taco then I say bring it on.

Sorry, even advanced AI know that fish doesn't go in tacos.  

Picadillo, barbacoa, lengua, carne guisada, chorizo, eggs, bacon, potatoes all OK.

Man, you need to get to Mexico!  ..OK, maybe not the best advice at the moment.

No, I need to go downstairs and light the stove.

Actually, love fish tacos, it's just a regional thing.  Origins of fish tacos is more of a baja/California thing.  The meats/dishes I listed are more of a northern Mexico/Tejas thing.  Spanish brought cattle to Mexico (which included Texas), enslaved tribes of native americans.  They would slaughter the cattle and the Spanish would take the "good meat" for themselves.  They would leave the carcass with the native americans.  That is what the native americans ate.  My Mexican friend told me this.

No, I do not think MLB should be concerned about it.

If you read The Athletic article hockey recognizes it needs to change the broadcast even though it’s constant action. It may be how baseball is broadcast not the game that needs an overhaul. 

The hockey changes that are coming are different, non traditional angles (more information so the viewer doesn’t have to go to a second device, miking players live, etc.. They’re considering live texting with game announcers and beat writers. 

I find analytics on certain plays interesting. I didn’t care for the game that was a barrage of analytics. Give the viewer the option. What about mini cameras so the viewer is right there experiencing the diving catch, the slide, crashing into the wall, seeing a 100 mph fastball as the hitter sees it? 

RJM posted:

We have a choice of Dave O’Brien and Jerry Rey or URI Berenguer. I can’t understand Berenguer or Remy.

We want Eck fulltime!

We have Harry Kalas son, Todd Kalas.  Meh.  Milo Hamilton had the color for a long time.  I hated hearing him.  The only time I liked him was if someone mentioned Harry Carey.  Milo would spit every time he heard his name.  Blood enemies. 

Gene Elston was by far the best at play by play for Astros.  A little before my Astros time, but have heard him.  My style of play by play.  Best color guys were Larry Dierker and Jim Deshaies.

Even though I wasn’t a Phillies fan Harry Kalas was great. He lived nearby. One night I was in a bar when a patron was tossed. Kalas was there. He announced the patron’s departure like he was calling a home run. “That one’s outtah here!”

RJM posted:

Even though I wasn’t a Phillies fan Harry Kalas was great. He lived nearby. One night I was in a bar when a patron was tossed. Kalas was there. He announced the patron’s departure like he was calling a home run. “That one’s outtah here!”

That would have been awesome to see/hear!  

His son has a similar voice to him when calling regular paced plays, but without the signature calls when a high action play comes along.  Just doesn't seem as natural.  He's ok.

CmassRHPDad posted:

Umpires should be Mic'd up and fitted with body cams. The chatter between umpire, batter and catcher would be much more entertaining than most announcing. More bullpen coverage would be cool too.

I was a big fan of this Dick's baseball commercial when it first aired: 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8Gaje_EDAg

Though cinematic, it seems like the kind of view of a baseball  you could get with the technology imagined for hockey in the Athletic piece.

For years as parents we tut-tutted as our kids and others "double screened" but I realized the battle was lost just last week at a movie theater when I saw a woman her 70's staring at her phone throughout the movie.

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