Thursday, September 11, 2008
The man who told USA Today back in 2006 (when FOX gained the rights to the BCS) that he "love the bands", and then proceeded to show them a total of 110 times during last year's Orange Bowl, is back. David Hill, the chief executive of Fox Sports, sat down with the Wall Street Journal to answer questions on the future of Sports Television and here are some of the highlights....
WSJ: So how do you change the presentation of something as traditional as NFL football?On the surface he seems to know what the right direction is, but last year's BCS Bowl Games were a flat out embarrassment for the network. It was the most distracting thing I've ever seen during a sports broadcast, and for FOX's sake, I pray they don't pull that again this bowl season.
Mr. Hill: We're really developing a minimalistic approach. We want to get rid of every production element that has been around since the 1970s. We want to be in the moment, don't clutter the screen, but keep the viewer informed for every second of the game. You don't want to wait all week for a game, and then at kickoff have us put up full-screen graphics of the offensive and defensive lines. So how do you get that in without blocking viewers' enjoyment? The problem if you make a change, sports fans are the most traditional viewers there can be, and they will say, "How dare you do this?" whenever you introduce something new
WSJ: With the World Series a month away, are you worried about having to sell the country Tampa against Milwaukee?
Mr. Hill: As a matter of fact, yes. [Laughs heartily.] You have no idea how many times that question has been asked of me in the last three or four days. But to be in this business you have to be an optimist. You're making huge bets and all you can change is way you present the games. You can't impact what happens. You make big bets and you hope every game is a Patriots-Giants Super Bowl. But that doesn't mean you don't think how good the Red Sox and Dodgers in the World Series would be. But whatever it is we put the games on in the most compelling way so we can refresh the fan base every day. You can't lose sleep about what you can't control.
WSJ: What is the next great innovation in sports broadcasting?
Mr. Hill: HD is merely a stepping stone on the way to 3D. When it comes it's going to be incredible, and the one sport that will do so well from it is boxing. I've seen boxing on 3D. It's the thing that is going to save boxing. I can't wait.
With that said, I've heard good things about the 3-D technology, and the 3-D viewing parties for the NBA All-Star Game were a huge success. With TV technology constantly evolving, it'll certainly be an interesting next ten years or so for Sports.
Questions for David Hill (Wall Street Journal)
Fox pegs Thom Brennaman as BCS voice (USA Today)
FOX's Orange Bowl Production By The Numbers (Awful Announcing)
Someone Actually Counted The Number Of Times FOX Showed The Bands Last Night (Awful Announcing)