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ABC / ESPN Coverage - Technical Issues

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  • ABC / ESPN Coverage - Technical Issues

    I watched the event in HD TV on Directv and there must have been about 15-20 5 second "glitches" with the video signal. Am I the only one who witnessed this who was also watching in HD?

  • #2
    By contrast there were no glitches on breederscup.com streaming, but the image was small and options to go full screen seemed to have been blocked. There were very few commercials but the chat was banal, especially if you weren't betting pick 6 which they obsessed about without explaining what was so special about pick 6 as a betting option.

    Comment


    • #3
      I only saw intermittant bits of the ESPN feed and caught several technical issues from the production level. At one point Jerry Baily's mic was left on during a race call. Good thing he wasn't his usual hyper critical self or they'd have had the FCC on their backs!
      F O.B
      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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      • #4
        Dick, I had the same thing on HD with cable, kind of skipped a couple of times like a needle on an old phonograph, pixelated once and froze briefly. Nothing more then a second or so and not bad enough to make me switch to old analogue ESPN. Come to think of it, it did it a couple of times on ABC and a couple on ESPN. Must have been on the origination end.

        But overall it was a pretty impressive picture and the sound made me feel I was railside.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

        Comment


        • #5
          I experienced the same problem, and here I was cursing my cable provider in all sorts of colorful language. Guess it wasn't their fault after all.
          "I loved you all, but Horse Racing was my first love" -Vic Stauffer

          Comment


          • #6
            The technical issues aside I was again unimpressed with ESPN's coverage of the BC. I think NBC when they had the telecast by and large was a vastly superior product. While their coverage became a bit stale too with Tom Hammond at the mic (just the the last couple of NBC years) it otherwise conveyed a much more smart bit of coverage. ESPN does a simply wretched bit of coverage with the wagering element and even the breeding aspect - which this is supposed to be the showcase of.

            If they don't drop Hank and his inability to speak on camera they're fools. Not to mention they were by and large rude to Jessica when she made her wagering advice and insight. She is far more polished and a bright face and knows her stuff. Joe Tessitore even said to Hank, Jessica and Kenny as "what do you think gentlemen?" more then once to which Kenny said "well Jessica is here too".

            I think the producers knew Hank and Jessica didn't click hence she was on Saturday away from that group. Even the standard banter from Jerry, Randy and Joe was weak as a filler. What was a perfect example is when they did the flashbacks to BC past moments and cited the longest hot ever - Arcangues - yet never asked Jerry on set what it was like. Good lord here is a great chance to have him reflect for a few moments on that ride but nope it was off to another silly poem by Bill Nack which did zip for me.

            The program really is neither fish nor fowl with its appeal to existing racing fans and too much of a mishmosh to draw in new fans. Come on folks as pointed out by another site - ESPN/ABC have more statistical information for Volleyball games then they share during race coverage. They have a year to lay the ground work for the broadcast and have been doing this for a few years so the product should be vastly more refined in how they want to pace the segments. TVG while unable to show the races live was doing their coverage too and it was a better product.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
              The technical issues aside I was again unimpressed with ESPN's coverage of the BC.
              I totally agree! I guess there is someone that the non-stop touchy feely poetry crap must appeal to because they sure had plenty of it (I ended up fast forwarding through most of that). I would much rather hear about the pedigrees of the horses and get a more detailed background of racing history for some of the ones I've never seen rather than the constant play at my emotions.

              And yes, Hank is almost unwatchable. The only reason I say almost is that they had that segment with that British guy sitting with them and his chains flopping on mic and he was REALLY unwatchable along with unintelligible.
              "I loved you all, but Horse Racing was my first love" -Vic Stauffer

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              • #8
                Anybody else get bugged by the fact that, during the post parade when they have the horse's information on screen, that info is now just name, jock, breeder and owner?

                What the hell is up with that? What happend to sire and dam and...trainer's name? Speaking of which, did DWL win a race, couldn't tell-all they had was a celebrity giving out awards and they were talking about his latest movie and I missed that race.

                Was a casual watcher with only a couple of small wagers. It was on all day but I was cleaning house and getting caught up on some bookeeping. Wrongly assumed that if I caught the post parade, I could get up to speed on the race.

                When I did sit down and watch what passed for pre race analysis, it was the same fairy tale human interest drivel that was shown all week. It was fine once, not 6 times in place of actual figures and past performance recaps. They didn't even have speed figures except for the top ones-and why bother if you are not doing all of them? Then you get the little board with JBs guess at where they will be as analysis. BS.

                And, just a thought, why didn't they use the full about a mile and three quarter turf course for something instead of gushing over how "European" that sprint down the hill was. I was just dissapointed that they did not move that gate all the way up the chute in the Turf Classic instead of just a little bit then once around the inside of the main track.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by findeight View Post

                  And, just a thought, why didn't they use the full about a mile and three quarter turf course for something instead of gushing over how "European" that sprint down the hill was. I was just dissapointed that they did not move that gate all the way up the chute in the Turf Classic instead of just a little bit then once around the inside of the main track.
                  The BC Turf is a 1½m race, so gate has to be where it is.

                  The San Juan Capistrano G2 in April is run over 1¾m and they start all the way up the top of the downhill course.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
                    The BC Turf is a 1½m race, so gate has to be where it is.

                    The San Juan Capistrano G2 in April is run over 1¾m and they start all the way up the top of the downhill course.
                    Yeah, I know...but it seems a shame to waste what has to be a very unique and spectacular course like this on a sprint race. Maybe one of the other, less established races next year. Or not.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Coral View Post
                      The only reason I say almost is that they had that segment with that British guy sitting with them and his chains flopping on mic and he was REALLY unwatchable along with unintelligible.
                      That would be John McCririck who actually knows his stuff and was fine when he was on TVG Saturday morning for a brief segment, but on ABC/ESPN I think they don't know what the heck to do with him.

                      I suppose a lot of the problems that horse racing faces these days is the fear by the networks to actually promote gambling any form - which they really aren't. So they ignore it and the wagering as best they can and in doing so deprive people of data. The average viewer is simply not relying on their telecast for wagering purposes but jeeze can't they be kept informed?

                      Originally posted by findeight
                      Anybody else get bugged by the fact that, during the post parade when they have the horse's information on screen, that info is now just name, jock, breeder and owner?
                      Agreed. Use a still picture if they have to if the post parade is going too fast or horses out of order. This informational segment can be done highly efficiently and give credit where credit is due.

                      Plus as has been cited in many places the saddles cloths of purple need to be dumped and use a correct cloth with different colors.

                      For TV with the BC ESPN should use the Trakus graphics (used by Keeneland in 2005/2006 then oddly dumped from the video feed; and still used by Woodbine) for its live and televised races. That is the colored dots on a subscreen that shows you where 'your horse' example, horse "8", is running relative the field and the wire. It actually does help when the fields are large and clearly the announcer and camera is just showing you the front pack.

                      As for Hank if they are trying to retain the "charm" of an on camera quasi book maker and prognosticator like the days of Jimmy "The Greek" then require that level of standard delivery. Jimmy was a big guy too but didn't look like a sweating pig unable to speak clearly and gave tv viewers real information.

                      To TVG's credit they do the "backtrack" in advance of a race to show what to better expect from past efforts. ESPN barely ventures into this arena I suppose again in fear of overwhelming viewers with "too much horse racing".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        my two cents worth

                        I want to agree with several of you, but I do not have HD so I cannot comment on that. NBC did do a much better job but they gave up on breeding info years ago too. At least ten years ago. I happen to like Tom Hammonds, I think he brought real knowlege to the whole program.
                        When BC was on NBC, ESPN did a tremendous job of pre race hoopla. Randy Moss was allowed to shine and they did a terrific job of the whole thing. As soon as they got the program, they immediatly dropped all references to anything but the main event. Now as I care nothing for football, hoops, or baseball, [heck, I live in Kansas City], I do not watch anything on Espn but racing. Can you imagine the Stuporbowl with NO pregame show? Thank goodness for TVG and HRTV. I wish it would go back to NBC or forward to the two sattelite providers. I kept switching back to TVG, and they did well as usual. I would gladly trade Joe Tessitore for Simon Bray any day.
                        Another killer of threads

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          ESPN didn't even list the trainer during the post parade. I know it's the Breeders Cup, but the trainer should have been listed there. Overall, ESPN's coverage was less than stellar...why in the world would you go to "breaking news" with Michael Iavarone 2 minutes before post of a Breeders Cup race?

                          Also, when the switch from ABC to ESPN, they also lose about 5 million homes who do not subscribe to cable or satellite. Not a very wise move for a sport who is losing fanbase by the day.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not to totally derail but as ESPN/ABC's coverage is less than stellar... that isn't limited to horse racing...

                            ESPN set the bar for NASCAR when they first covered it. Then FOX and NBC/TNT (I think it was) got the contract and FOX raised the bar. ESPN/ABC are back along with FOX and ESPN is a very distance second IMO. Poor announcing for the pre-race (the guys in the truck down on the track) and I can't count the number of pre-race shows shortened or gone altogether because of the almighty football game that ran long (I was waiting for that to happen on Saturday when they switched to ESPN.)
                            No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

                            Pleasure Portrait 1989-2016...sleep well my girl

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ugh.

                              I was deeply irritated by the switch to ESPN (really, it's like switching coverage of the super bowl off of a network at halftime to cover, say, an ungraded stakes.... )... but man, coverage was lousy. I'm glad i'm not alone in thinking this. (1) Given the number of times that 'promoting the human element' has been brought up as a means to make racing easier to follow for casual fans, the failure to include trainer names during the PP is outstandingly asinine. (2) I don't mind Joe, but he's not a horse guy. Randy Moss may not be as sparkly, but he is a fine commentator, and I can't come up with a reason that he shouldn't be doing the majority of the talking. (3) I truly hated Jessica. She may know what she's talking about, but I found her terribly off putting. Granted, she was visibly struggling to be included in the conversation, but... eh. Just didn't do a thing for me. (4) The lack of promotion was flat out insulting. I can't recall if it was this bad last year... if not, does anyone else feel like ABC is trying to sweep their affiliation with (what they perceive to be) an unpopular sport under the rug a bit?
                              Aghh, I could go on and on... at least when NBC did sentimental bits, they were relevant. Technical glitches, the ungodly amount of recycled material between fri & sat, failure to cover relevant races leading up to the BC.....
                              bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
                              free bar.ka and tidy rabbit

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Even Kenny's typical lighthearted but silly video segment (last year it was kindergartner kids going to the OTB) wasn't even worth citing - this time with the USC cheerleaders.

                                No mics on the jockeys, no visible use of the blimp for engaging post-race anlysis, no consistent video from the camera truck running alongside, no visits with the fans to see who they like or are rooting for, etc.

                                It does make me thankful that NBC has retained the rights to the Derby and Preakness at least. There was a time when NBC did the BC, Triple Crown, and Sunshine Millions Day which seems like eons ago.

                                ESPN seems to be better when they have only 1 hours worth air time and have to cover about three races. It is then when the more often possess enough material - and news bids - to make to more of a meal. Give them several hours to fill and you feel like you're being made to consume only twizzlers and water for dinner.

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