SBD/July 3, 2013/Facilities

Pundits Discuss Having RedZone Channel Airing On Scoreboards At NFL Games

ESPN's Michael Wilbon called the idea of a team airing the RedZone Channel continuously on its scoreboard during a game "pathetic," but ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said it could be a "smart" way to draw more fans. The Jaguars will have the capacity to air the channel throughout games when their new scoreboards are installed for the '14 season, and Wilbon said, "You've got a team, the product is so smelly, it's so stinky that now you have life following art. ... What does this say to the league, that your product is now perhaps secondary in terms of what is on the field? The thing that you're staging is not as interesting as what you're showing?" Kornheiser said it is a "life-changing event to watch the RedZone Channel," and if the Jaguars "cannot draw and they have to tarp over a bunch of seats -- and they've done that -- and they want to bring fans back into the stadium and the thing that separates them from those fans is the RedZone Channel, then you market to those people." Kornheiser: "You give them the RedZone Channel, you make the experience in-stadium as good or better as at home." Wilbon asked, "What happens to the rest of the league? Every place where you have just smelly products you just throw on the satellite dish and let's watch another game?" He added, "You better improve your product so someone wants to pay and come watch it." Kornheiser agreed and said, "That would be the better solution. But if they do it this way and they can get 10,000 more fans in, it's smart" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/2).

IDEA MAKES SENSE: Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, "It makes a lot of sense because the greatest invention since the remote control is the RedZone. So people have another experience at the game and they can take those tarps down." ESPN.com's Jackie MacMullan said, "You should only do it at halftime. You should not do it during the game where you have a team you're trying to build a fan base of your own." L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke: "You cannot show another game while your game is going on. ... You do it by the concession stands, you do it in the concourses. People want to go back and watch their teams, that's fine" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/2).

SIGN OF THINGS TO COME?
ESPN Radio's Scott Van Pelt said the Jaguars may get some "pushback" for their decision, but he added, "I don’t know how much, and as soon as one team does it, then everyone's going to do it." Van Pelt wondered if the RedZone Channel is "too good for its own good and if the popularity of that will ultimately hurt the league." He asked if RedZone was "available on a screen at your seat, would you watch?" Van Pelt: "Probably, and that's where we're going, that's the trend of things. I would just be happy at stadiums if they could figure out a way with more cell towers so your phone would work" ("SVP & Russillo," ESPN Radio, 7/2).
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