NBC Sports kicked off its third year of Arena Football League coverage Jan. 30 with a new game plan: more television exposure, a permanent home for the Arena Bowl and a bit of new teleproduction sizzle.
Speaking during a press conference Jan. 27 in New York, NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer laid out his vision for how to help interest in the sport grow – especially among television viewers.
Teleproduction sizzle plays heavily in the network’s plans to help the league’s games attract and hold a television audience. According to NBC Sports Coordinating Producer David Gibson, the network has remade its approach to graphics to help fans learn players’ names. The network’s game coverage graphically push players’ names and other league information with an upgraded interface that reveals from the upper right hand corner of the screen to identify players.
NBC Sports coverage also is featuring live interviews with players and coaches on the field during the game. “Sneak Peak” lets fans watch and listen to a player break down a play on a monitor, diagramming exactly what happened on the field.
The network also is micing the quarterbacks, coaches and other players to give fans a sense of the action. Quarterback are being piped directly to the telecasters so they can break down the signals and resulting plays as they unfold.
Among the non-production highlights are expanding league coverage on a regional basis with 120 non-NBC produced games, mostly by FOX Sports; a league partnership with EA Sports that will culminate in an arena football game to boost interest among gamers; and establishing a permanent home for the championship Arena Bowl in Las Vegas.