Are you one of those people who is sick of listening to broadcasters who don’t seem to know anything when you’re watching a football game? Do you find yourself wishing you had the option of turning off the commentators without simply muting the television altogether?
Well, Amazon may have your back this year for NFL broadcasts. Reportedly, they are considering optimizing their broadcasts this year to provide the consumer with greater flexibility, including, potentially, the option to view the program without the broadcast — just watching the game itself as it unfolds.
The NFL earlier this year renegotiated almost all of its major broadcasting deals with its partners, including a landmark new contract with Amazon. Beginning with the 2023 season, Amazon will completely take over the Thursday Night Football programming.
According to Andrew Marchand of the N.Y. Post, company executives have been using the phrase “your game, your way” when discussing plans to present their Thursday Night Football broadcasts, basically with the idea of enticing consumers to actually tune in by giving them customization options.
“Amazon could be transformative in the use of multiple feeds in its forthcoming NFL production — an area in which the next growth of sportscasting may come,” he writes. He adds they “are expected to present a traditional feel in a main feed, as well as many alternative presentations. This isn’t entirely new. Many networks, led by ESPN’s multicast, have done varied presentations of games. Amazon will lean in there.”
He’s right that it’s not entirely original to present a broadcast of a game without color commentators. But it certainly has not been the norm, and has been rarely available for some time. I know there are a number of readers here with a desire to watch the games without a broadcast.
Color commentating has its uses, of course, and it could help spice up a boring game. But there are certainly those who would rather just not deal with it. Frankly, sometimes the quality of the broadcast deserves the option of turning it off.
What would be your choice if given the option, a year or two from now, to watch a Steelers game with the commentating turned off, just listening to the ambient noise of the game? Would you turn it off? Would you go back and forth? What about a playoff game? Does it change the equation at all if the stakes of the game are higher?