MLB Giants Alter Telecasts For Broadcaster Mike Krukow's Benefit
MLB Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow has "agreed to a two-year contract extension" with the club that will give him an opportunity to "stay involved on a portion of the team's road schedule by providing color commentary from the NBC Sports Bay Area studio," according to Kerry Crowley of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. Krukow, who is battling a muscle disease called inclusion-body myositis, had his travel schedule "cut back in recent years as he called all 81 Giants home games and a small portion of the road schedule that included games at NL West ballparks." He will continue to join Duane Kuiper on TV broadcasts for road games this season against the Padres, Dodgers and D-backs, but he will "do so in studio." The Giants and NBC Sports Bay Area "dubbed the innovation 'SplitKast,' as Kuiper will be in the ballpark doing play-by-play while Krukow will be back in San Francisco watching and calling games on a monitor." Meanwhile, Former Giants Ps Javier Lopez and Shawn Estes "will provide color commentary for road games that Krukow is not broadcasting." They will work in broadcast booths at parks and "join Kuiper and fellow play-by-play voices Dave Flemming and Jon Miller on air" (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 2/8). THE ATHLETIC's Berman & Brown noted Kuiper and his brother, Giants producer Jeff Kuiper, "originally pitched the idea three years ago of having Krukow do games from the studio." But for whatever reason, the idea "never took flight back then" (THEATHLETIC.com, 2/7).
MAKING IT WORK: In California, Alex Pavlovic noted the broadcast booth will "split transmission lines and make sure both broadcasters are set up so there's no audio or visual delay." Kuiper will have a monitor "next to him in the booth with a real-time shot of Krukow back in his dedicated space in the NBC Sports Bay Area studio, and Krukow will have the same." Both broadcasters also will "use iPads to FaceTime during the game so they can have a direct conversation during commercial breaks" (NBCSPORTSBAYAREA.com, 2/7). On whether he can capture the same vibe as he would at the ballpark, Krukow said, "We're going to make it work. I mean, that's just the deal. Because the alternative is, we don't do it. That, to us, is no alternative at all" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/9).