SBD/Issue 245/Sports Media

Fox Sports Chair David Hill Discusses Future Of TV Broadcasting

Hill Discusses Future Of TV Broadcasting
In Q&A With Wall Street Journal
Fox Sports Chair & Exec Producer David Hill took part in a Q&A with the WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Futterman as part of the paper's "Long Toss" feature. When asked how to "change the presentation of something as traditional as NFL football," Hill said, "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." But he notes 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?'" Hill, when asked if he is concerned about the NFL beginning to simulcast live games online, said, "No. It won't in any way harm the telecast. The figures we saw out of the Olympics back that up. As long as you don't get your affiliates up in arms, as long as you keep them happy I can't see anything wrong with that." With the World Series only a little more than a month away, Futterman asked if Hill is "worried about having to sell the country Tampa against Milwaukee." Hill said while laughing, "As a matter of fact, yes." Hill: "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. ... 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." Meanwhile, Hill said HD is "merely a stepping stone on the way to 3D." Hill: "It's going to be incredible. ... I've seen boxing on 3D. It's the thing that is going to save boxing" (WSJ.com, 9/10).

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