Love your team but don't care too much for your local announcers? Wish you could mute the booth but keep the pleasing and soothing sounds of the ballpark? One regional channel may have the answer you've long been waiting for. Last night Fox Sports Detroit aired an announcerless telecast on their Plus channel in addition to their normal broadcast on the main regional network. The alternate channel featured the sounds of the ballpark as you would hear them in the stadium. Here's more from Fox Sports...
FOX Sports Detroit offered viewers something during Tuesday night's broadcast that they've been asking for since the dawn of televised sports — a broadcast with nothing but the game, important information and ambient sounds of the ballpark. The alternate broadcast ran on FOX Sports Detroit Plus with no announcing team.
FOX Sports Detroit is calling it "Natural Sounds at Comerica Park."
"Natural Sounds at Comerica Park will feature extra microphones around the park so viewers can hear more of the sounds of baseball — the bat cracks, ball popping in the mitt, vendors chiming in from the stands and the crowd's reaction to every play on the field," senior vice president and general manager of FOX Sports Detroit Greg Hammare said.
While Fox Detroit speaks of how great the ambient sound is, I wonder if Mario Impemba and Rod Allen felt the same way in the Tigers booth. The announcerless game is an idea that has been attempted periodically before, most notably during an NFL on NBC game between the Jets and Dolphins in 1980. Feedback on Twitter from Tigers fans was mostly positive for having the option to tune the announcers out...
This tigers game with no announcers, just the sounds of the ballpark is awesome!— Alex (@Groves1011) July 31, 2013
Really digging the FSD+ Tigers feed without the announcers. Wish it was like this every game. #noinanecomments— Matt Taber (@matt_taber) July 30, 2013
Really liking this @FOXSportsDet Plus feed tonight. Cool idea, hope it happens more often.— Mac (@MacSwearengen) July 30, 2013
In case you're wondering how the "natural sounds" broadcast turned out, Guyism has a brief video from the announcerless telecast.
Fox Sports Detroit is planning another telecast without the announcers on August 30th. In spite of how attractive the idea may be to many, I can't envision announcerless games becoming a primary option for sports. There's a reason the play-by-play man has had a job for decades - game broadcasts usually need a narrative and layer of context to what's happening on the field. More importantly, we'd be out of a job. However, with all the extra channels, apps, and secondary feeds that are in existence this may become something more teams and networks look into for the future as an alternate feed.
One also wonders if Fox would ever look into the "natural sounds" feed for the World Series given the, ahem, "popularity" of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver with many baseball fans.
Sadly this would not work with NHL on NBC, you would still be able to hear Pierre McGuire screaming and still want to bore your brain out with a drill
I lived a Mets fan in NY my whole life. Didn't think there was a more annoying announcer than Ron Darling. Now that I'm in FL (someone PLEASE give me a job in NY so I can go home!) I am usually stuck watching the Mets vs. the Marlins w/ Marlins announcers. They are so painfully bad that I almost always just turn off the sound. These guys are truly incompetent. They rarely talk about baseball & when they do it's usually incredibly insipid, like going on & on about a potential no-hitter for Wheeler this week. That was NOT going to happen. Again, I turned off the sound
Having said that, I DID get to hear the Mets announcers this week & it was a real delight to hear Ralph Kiner take the mic. He may talk a bit slower than he did decades ago, but his mind & memory are still sharp. Nevertheless, Darling spoke to him like he would to a man who'd lost his wits. Darling & Marlins announcers? Give me the sounds of the ballpark. Kiner & other talented announcers? I'll take them.
please do this more. especially to football. and hockey. and basketball. and every other sport where announcers feel the need to be equal to what is shown in video and not complementary.
there should really be an optional channel with games broadcasted without the announcers. they can be anoying and at times forget they are even calling the game.
we watched it at a bar... it was pretty interesting... I love Mario and Rod and wouldn't replace them for anybody else in the game, even Mr. Uecker... but not being bombarded by additional (sneaky) advertising during the game was an interesting feature!
MLB.TV has that option while watching on PS3. You can use the video of the home or away team and overlay the audio of the home or away radio broadcast or just listen to the natural sounds of the ballpark. Its pretty cool, even to just switch over to for a couple innings.
This is how I feel about the Yankees broadcasters. I hate Michael Kay. I enjoyed Vin Scully last night despite the loss.
I remember when the NFL tried this quite a few years back. I guess it didn't go over so well, as there were only a couple of games telecast that way.