Watched the Big Ten Invitational indoor track meet broadcast on TV by the Big Ten Network on January 15, 2022. This is to note that the analysts were absolutely outstanding. Sadly, not something one has often heard from fans of our sport about any TV broadcast of a track meet.
I’m an advocate of competition among the on-air talent that covers our sport for broadcasts inside the United States. Too many years of the exact same people doing all broadcasts no matter what network, has not benefited the quality and depth of TV broadcasts of track meets in America.
In contrast, these folks were exceptional!!!
They showed the massive difference between broadcasters that not only know the sport but do their homework to sufficient degree to know who the athletes are, what their performance was a week ago, a year ago, knowing their personal bests…..then saying it on the air, not keeping it to themselves like its a state secret. They were never reaching for anything, throwing in nonsense about what somebody’s favorite ice cream happens to be. They stayed on message, on topic, on their game. They demonstrated the basic truth of TV coverage of our sport, which is…..don’t seek to make things interesting for “the average viewer”, make the sport interesting for the fan so that the average viewer will find it interesting.
—– Sara Kroll, high school track & cross-country coach in Michigan, former Michigan State runner on their NCAA Champion cross-country team.
—– Declan Murray, Sports Sponsorship & Marketing specialist at JPMorgan Chase. Former NCAA Collegiate All-American at 800m, Loyola University-Chicago.
And for the overall production, the –extensive– use of split screen coverage, an absolute necessity for our sport, added significantly to the quantity of coverage.