CBS Sports, Turner Sports Unveil Announcing Lineup For Final Four Teamcasts
CBS Sports and Turner Sports yesterday revealed the on-air talent for its Teamcast feature: simulcasts of the NCAA tournament national semifinal games airing Saturday on TBS. For the Florida-UConn game, the UF Teamcast will air on TNT with Magic TV analyst David Steele and Gator Basketball Network play-by-play broadcaster Mark Wise. The UConn Teamcast on truTV will feature CSN New England's Eric Frede, YES Network's Donny Marshall and former UConn player Swin Cash. For Kentucky-Wisconsin, the UK Teamcast on TNT will feature longtime Kentucky sportscaster Rob Bromley, along with former UK player Rex Chapman and WKYT-CBS staffer Dave Baker. The UW Teamcast on truTV will utilize BTN's Wayne Larrivee on play-by-play along with former UW player Mike Kelley as analyst (CBS/Turner). In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes Turner and CBS Sports "stretched a bit to find announcing teams for Saturday’s Final Four teamcasts." Only one announcer chosen "called a full season of the colleges’ games on radio," as the rest "are from local, regional or conference TV -- and not all are directly associated with the Final Four teams" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/2).
TEAMCAST TUTORIAL: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht notes Turner Sports Senior VP/Production & Exec Creative Dir Craig Barry hopes that the teamcasts "will not just be for 'homers and alumni' of the schools." He added, "Some people may, say, switch over and watch a few minutes of it ... and enjoy a certain amount of energy and a different approach." Barry credited Turner sports COO Lenny Daniels with "coming up with the idea" (OKLAHOMAN, 4/2). CBS Sports Exec Producer & VP/Production Harold Bryant said that 95% of the cameras used in the "more traditional telecast will be used by teamcast productions." Barry said that the approach is "to create 'separate broadcast operations' ... with its own talent, producers, directors, cameras, etc." He added that while there is "'a lot of emphasis on the talent,' the end product will be defined by 'all the pieces of the broadcast'" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 4/2).
A LAFORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH: In N.Y., Kirsten Fleming wrote there is "already one big winner" from the NCAA tournament in CBS Sports' Allie LaForce. LaForce, who has been working with broadcasters Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, has been "lighting up Twitter for both her all-American looks and her impressive basketball acumen." She has "been part of some of the tournament’s most poignant moments, such as interviewing St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli’s adorable mini-me grandson and chatting with Dayton star Devin Oliver’s sister Miya, who has Down syndrome." The 25-year-old former Miss Teen USA played hoops at Ohio Univ., but said that she "still has to battle the notion that she’s just a pretty face in a male-dominated arena" (N.Y. POST, 4/1).