ESPN Draws Criticism For Unique Camera Shots, Coverage Of College Hoops Games
ESPN Communications Manager Michael Humes yesterday admitted that "using an isolated camera extensively" on Univ. of Connecticut women's basketball F Maya Moore "as part of a split-screen broadcast of ESPN2's Oklahoma-UConn telecast Monday night had shortcomings," according to Mel Bracht of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN. The isocam "was used only briefly" on Baylor C Brittney Griner during Monday's Texas A&M-Baylor telecast. Humes said, "Following some internal reviews and viewer feedback, we made a decision to limit the amount of split-screen coverage during the Baylor telecast." Bracht notes the isocams are "part of ESPN's initiative this week to provide unique angles to its college basketball telecasts." Among the multiple concepts being utilized this week, analysts Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery were placed "in separate ends of the court" for the net's telecast of Monday night's West Virginia-Syracuse game, and a "special robotic sky camera in the midcourt sound system" served as the "main coverage camera" for last night's Mississippi State-Kentucky game (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 2/16). In Hartford, Jeff Otterbein notes the isocam "didn't go over all that well" with viewers of the Oklahoma-UConn game, as 462 of the 619 people who responded to an informal poll on the Hartford Courant's website indicated that they "did not like the technique" (HARTFORD COURANT, 2/16). In Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel wrote ESPN "made a mockery" of the Oklahoma-UConn game. The net "has done a nice job promoting women's basketball," but this "was an awful idea." Tramel: "Someone with influence needed to step up and stop it" (NEWSOK.com, 2/15).
A NEW VERSION OF SKY WALKER: YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Eisenberg wrote the overhead camera used during Mississippi State-Kentucky last night was "irritating" and "disorienting." The "only good thing about the overhead camera angle was that it immediately became quality comedy fodder" on Twitter. Eisenberg noted perhaps ESPN "read some of the instant feedback because it seemed as though the network went to the overhead angle less and less as the game went on" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/15). J.D. Rutledge, who worked the game for ESPN, said, "We were trying to show offensive and defensive sets from above." However, the move "was not received well" based on some online reactions (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 2/16). An ESPN spokesperson said, “Last night’s use of varying camera angles was part of a larger weeklong initiative to give fans different perspectives of coverage via new and innovative production techniques and enhancements. We consistently strive to balance our use of these elements with fan feedback” (THE DAILY).