Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

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RadioPat1982
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Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

#1 Post by RadioPat1982 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:15 pm

Just wanted some opinions on whether a sports broadcaster would be interested in calling E-Sports. Saw some post recently where sports games like Madden needed broadcasters for tournaments.

Interested to see if someone would use that as a stepping stone or view it as something negative?

Bob Rotruck
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Re: Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

#2 Post by Bob Rotruck » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:34 am

It's fine. I would have no problem doing this if I knew anything about it or considered myself remotely capable.

It's all about presenting a quality sounding product on the air via the description of an event. You can do play-by-play of a spelling bee or cooking (Iron Chef) or poker or chess or bowling or a little league game or emcee a dance event and if you can sound good doing it then it's never a negative. I know a couple of guys in pro hockey who have also done some pro wrestling announcing in some capacity.

Sportscasting and sports talent have a pretty wide range that actually dont seem that closely related to each other at first glance. from live play-by-play to sports anchor on TV to sports reporting where you edit and produce video packages and features all the way to sports-talk radio where you may or may not engage with callers or conduct interviews over the phone.

I would consider play-by-play of esports to be significantly more closely related to hockey play-by-play than sports-talk or TV anchoring (for example).
Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey in Allentown, Pennsylvania. AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.

RadioPat1982
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Re: Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

#3 Post by RadioPat1982 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:58 am

Bob Rotruck wrote: You can do play-by-play of a spelling bee or cooking (Iron Chef) or poker or chess or bowling or a little league game or emcee a dance event and if you can sound good doing it then it's never a negative. I know a couple of guys in pro hockey who have also done some pro wrestling announcing in some capacity.
Good points, though I will say there are several differences in those examples. A lot of these E-Sports broadcast are either live or shot live to tape. A cooking show for example is typically pre scripted and entirely edited.

I guess the point I am trying to get to is that I see this market expanding in the next year or two. Video games streaming as a whole but specifically sports video game streaming. Within the last couple years you have seen a number of TV networks picking up E-Sports programming. It is much cheaper than actual sports production and serves a purpose of filler during down times in the sports calendar. The drone racing on ESPN is a good example.

I think it is still in the Niche phase right now but I am interested to see if someone would consider this a legit sports broadcasting gig or not. A great example is maybe a baseball broadcaster tying to get more reps in football. Would you consider doing a Madden tournament on something like ESPN3?

Jon Chelesnik
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Re: Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

#4 Post by Jon Chelesnik » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:42 am

I am interested to see if someone would consider this a legit sports broadcasting gig
It matters less whether it's a legit sports broadcasting gig and more that it is a gig where someone can make extra money using their sportscasting skills.

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Re: Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

#5 Post by Bob Rotruck » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:57 am

I would jump on a Madden tournament on ESPN3 if I knew anything about it. I've never even played Madden so I'm kind of out. Assuming I wasn't ditching another gig or something I don't see why you wouldn't do it.
If it's play-by-play then it's play-by-play. I don't see why anyone would think that it isn't irrespective of whether they enjoy or respect esports or not. I also don't know why that would matter anyway.

Some people don't think soccer or golf are "real" sports or are worthwhile either. I happen to enjoy both. Somebody else not caring for soccer doesn't impact my enjoyment of it at all nor my potential interest in accepting a play-by-play gig in the sport.

I have zero interest in esports and do think it's kind if strange that there are broadcasts.of it. I don't understand why anyone would want to watch it. But I also acknowledge that many people do enjoy it and It seems to have an audience. I would have no negative thoughts at all towards a broadcaster working this sport. In fact, a couple broadcasters who have amazed me the most are the guys on MRN...thought they sounded great. I have zero interest in the sport of auto racing but their on-air product on the radio sounds tremendous.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey in Allentown, Pennsylvania. AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.

PhilGiubileo
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Re: Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

#6 Post by PhilGiubileo » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:35 pm

for context:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3M8JLECVeI

I'd basically agree here--PBP is PBP. I didn't watch a ton of this, but I am familiar w/Madden and play it on occasion, and I feel confident that I would do a good job handling the PBP for something like this--if anything, it's easier than calling a regular football game. The analyst role is sort of interesting as well--you're focusing really on what the game player is doing, vs. having to analyze individual players, coaches, etc., on the field. Two people control all of the activity.

As far as 'filler' type broadcast content, there's nothing wrong with it at all, and if I'm spinning through channels (which I don't do anymore b/c I cut the cord), and this came on, I'd stop and watch for a bit.
Phil Giubileo
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Re: Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

#7 Post by djpuska29 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:02 am

I think it's fine. Now days it's whatever pays the bills.
It's like young broadcasters not wanting to do sales as part of their job.

I think it would be cool and i'm sure you would have a really good color guy.

RadioPat1982
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Re: Thought's on Calling E-Sports?

#8 Post by RadioPat1982 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:14 am

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. As I mentioned, I think this is a growing market. I have thought a about the possibility of finding some organized local tournaments and seeing if those tournament directors would be interested in live webcasting.

I work in video production along with broadcasting. I thought the point of the color role is a great one. Not only would they have to have some general knowledge of football but more importantly really good knowledge of the game.

At a time where more and more color positions are being handled by successful ex athletes, maybe this could serve a purpose for the person that never played football in college or the pros.

Outside of ESPN, there are a number of big time websites and apps that stream these events and non sports related ones. Those events get great live numbers and also sponsors. Colleges have started teams, and some now offer scholarships for game players.

I am interested to see where this goes over the next decade and as you mentioned, whatever pays the bills these days......

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