Friday, January 15, 2010

Broadcast Breakdown

This will come as no surprise to anyone, but a recent WSJ study broke down actual content of game broadcasts, illustrating that actual gameplay was only a small fraction of the total time.

So what do the networks do with the other 174 minutes in a typical
broadcast? Not surprisingly, commercials take up about an hour.

As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps. In the four broadcasts The Journal studied, injured players got six more seconds of camera time than celebrating players. While the network announcers showed up on screen for just 30 seconds, shots of the head coaches and referees took up about 7% of the average show.

I routinely record NCAA/NFL games via a DVD burner, but only bothering to record actual plays (not huddles, no time outs, no commercials, no replays, etc), and will routinely fit entire games on a disc at under 30 total minutes. I started doing this mainly to republish online and also because re-watching games is annoying with all the other fluff added.

the most hated man in sports

If you're the nostalgic type or share an interest in recognizing trends in social/commercial influence, couple this with the recent series, "Full Color Football", being shown on Showtime and NFL Network, you can see the impact television has on the game. I would sincerely recommend the book, "America's Game" by Michael MacCambridge . The video series mentioned above fleshes out a few of the stories from this book (and MacCambridge cameos in several interviews).

If you enjoy that series (which seems to revolve around the impact the AFL had) you should also enjoy an NFL Films series from a few years ago, "Behind the Vault". It resurrects much of the old film and profiles the legendary characters involved.

While I follow the NFL when I can, I really don't get into the sensationalist "WWF"-type coverage broadcasts and franchises today play up (hero-worship/player-centric) and find it detracting the actual quality available.

I really enjoy the snapshots in time that you can identify with on given plays. The clearly visible fingerprints of coaches and players of the past still heavily influence the very thing you're watching 'live'. It is the Paul Browns, Sid Gilmans, Clark Shaughnessys, to the Lawrence Taylors, Sammy Baughs, Marshall Faulks that carry the game onto the next generation for them to add their imprint to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am more concerned with the fact that only 3 seconds are allotted to the cheerleaders. That is a travesty!

yours truly,