SBD/11/Sports Media

FOX EXPERIMENT WITH NO PLAY-BY-PLAY: REVIEWS ARE MIXED

     Several media writers commented on Fox's use of Terry
Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson as co-analysts during Saturday's
Chargers-Cardinals game without the use of a play-by-play
announcer.  USA TODAY'S Michael Hiestand says there were "plenty
of glitches and dead air," but that the two improved as the game
went on (USA TODAY, 12/11).  In Miami, Barry Jackson writes the
"telecast was a yawner" as the two "simply spent too much time
analyzing individual plays and strategy in a game between two
mediocre teams."  They "should have talked about other hot issues
-- like teams changing cities" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/10).  Larry
Stewart in L.A. writes, "Nice try, but it didn't quite work ...
It really wasn't a bad telecast.  It just wasn't a particularly
good one, and certainly wasn't revolutionary" (L.A. TIMES,
12/10).  The Baltimore SUN's Milton Kent writes, "Silence may be
golden, but not in a football telecast" (Baltimore SUN, 12/11).
In Toronto, Rob Longley calls the telecast it an experiment "gone
awry" (TORONTO SUN, 12/11).  In Chicago, Steve Nidetz notes
without a play-by-play voice, there "were some dead spots"
(CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/11).  Phil Mushnick of the N.Y. POST pans
the broadcast, writing, "Thank goodness Fox didn't choose to
abandon graphics along with the play-by-play man" (N.Y. POST,
12/11).  But in Washington, Dick Hellar calls the combination a
"winner" and writes the pair "just might put a lot of play by
play announcers out of work" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/11).  In
Atlanta, Prentis Rogers calls it a "qualified success," but
suggests Fox enhance the audio of the public address announcer to
help viewers with play-by-play details (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
12/11).
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