Comcast-NBCU will provide alternative to ESPN and possibly changes to CSN Washington

On January 18, 2011 the FCC and Department of Justice approved the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. Eleven days later Comcast announced that it had officially taken control of NBC Universal from General Electric. Surely the long term effects of such a merger – between the largest cable/Internet provider with a major media and entertainment outlet – won’t be fully felt for many years.

What seems apparent is that consumers of sports television will eventually have a serious alternative to ESPN in nearly 20 years.

The recently formed NBC Sports Group, under the leadership of Chairman Dick Ebersol, will have the combined Comcast-NBCU assets as building blocks. Those building blocks include Versus, the Golf channel, Universal Sports, 14 regional sports networks (including CSN Washington) and NBC Sports.

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I wish I had a Pavlov-like buzzer for television Directors of sports events

During the ESPN broadcast of the Redskins game, I was reminded of something that has frustrated me during Wizards games on Comcast Sportsnet. Directors stay on camera angles that have nothing to do with the action on the field, much too long. I was reminded of this frustration during the Skins game, when the Director decided to stay on Andy Reid for what felt like an eternity, all because the game crew was discussing the issues with his sons. How about you show him for a second or two, just long enough to put a face with a name – for those who don’t know what he looks like – and then get back to the action on the field? I would rather look at the players in the huddle then Andy Reid (or any coach for that matter) for an extended period of time.

 

This problem happens much too often during the Wizards games – whether it is a close-up of someone in the stands, Eddie Jordan, a player on the bench, the Polian’s in the owners box., etc, etc, etc. What is most frustrating is that I have lost count of the times that the television audience has not been shown live game action due to one of these occurrences, from foul shots, to steals, to dunks the list is endless. I remember a number of occasions in which they had to show the audience a replay of on-court action to make up for the fact that they did not show it lives. And let’s not forget the advertisements that they display during the game. They are not commercials mind you, but the advertiser’s logo and a brief amount of copy that Buck is obligated to read. These have also caused a fair amount of game action to be missed over the years. It would be nice if their production crew could make those advertisements transparent or at least minimize the screen so that the game can actually be seen.

 

The folks at the Neilson Ratings should develop a device that allowed people to administer an electric shock – nothing lethal mind you – to either the Director or Technical Director of a sporting event every time they stayed too long on a meaningless camera angle. (Or maybe even the on-air crew when they spend an eternity discussing whether or not Donovan McNabb is being under appreciated in Philly.)

 

Am I the only person who is bothered by this?

KG’s big ticket to Beantown

I was watching one of my favorite sports shows, Washington Post Live on Comcast SportsNet, when the host Russ Thaler said, about the reported KG trade, “this changes the whole balance of power… do we have a new favorite in the East?” I understand why Russ was asking the question. On paper the Celts have three All-Star caliber performers in KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. An issue that I have with creating their reservations for the Eastern Conference finals is…

  • They play a team sport and each of the Celts version of the “Big three” is used to being the man on his previous team, as such we do not know how well they will jell playing with each other and taking fewer shots
  • Just because a team has three prolific scorers, does not mean that it will translate into a playoff success. The last that I checked the Wizards have had the highest scoring trio over the last couple years
  • While it appears that the Celts have improved themselves greatly, there are still other teams in the East that they will have to contend with – Pistons, Cavs, Bulls, Heat, Wizards, Bucks, etc
  • At times, some franchises are just cancerous and even though you bring “talent” to them the cancerous franchises ruins the talent – see Oakland Raiders as one such example
  • Their version of the big three is getting old, which means that their window is not open very wide. KG is a a 12 year vet, Jesus Shuttleworth, I mean Ray Allen is a 11 year vet (but one year older than KG) and Paul Pierce is a 9 year vet. There big three is or will all be 30 years or older at the start of the season. And while 30 might be the new 20, it is getting a bit long in the tooth for NBA stars – especially for those who have had to be their team’s focal point for much of their careers

Now, with all of that said I believe that assuming the three stay healthy, the trades make the Celts viable again. If nothing else, they will be a fun team to watch in the regular season. Given the state of the Atlantic, they should easily be a playoff team. But, I do not believe that they will get anywhere near the Eastern Conference finals this season.