LK wants a better more eye-catching and immersive production to go along with the on-court product. This starts with selection of commentators and the way they're used.
Let's start with a little hypothetical.... Channel 7 comes on board as the new FTA partner replacing Channel Nine.
Mel Mclaughlin (for Channel 7 game)
Anthony Hudson (for NSW games)
John Casey (for SA games)
Dwayne Russell (for Vic games)
Warren Smith (for Qld games)
Basil Zempilas (for WA games)
Derek Rucker (Qld games)
Shane Heal (NSW/Vic games)
Rupert Sapwell/Brett Maher (SA games)
?? (WA games)
How do they make the product better? They have to produce a narrative. Historically networks and the NBL are too content to let any sort of narrative happen organically, they're happy to sit around and let things happen. This doesn't cut it when competing against Soccer, Cricket etc.
#1 Coverage needs to start with an intro which shows action, not just generic animation.
(a) Replicate the way they cut highlights in the below video: https://youtu.be/5v-LhnTAJvw?t=24s
(b) Choose a decent song like the one in the above, or one from here https://youtu.be/JYjhkhe2e-k?t=16s or something produced by a local band like Hilltop Hoods
(c) Once the intro finishes transition it to a pan of the city the game is in, such as with Adelaide provide a pan of the Torrens River/Bridge/Convention Centre or Victoria Square and a busy North Terrace shot before the graphic "Adelaide 36ers v and the lead commentator starts talking. - Look at the way ESPN does it for the NBA "welcome to San Antonio for...." as they show the Alamo river/side walk.
#2 Key games or a key time slot like Friday Night Basketball needs a non-generic/game-specific intro. It needs to build the narrative of what's going on - whether it be a narrative of:
> Player matchup: Randle v Lisch
> Team culture/position: Wildcats perpetual success, Kings ruling, 36ers run & gun
> Rivalry: Hawks v 36ers epic/horrible last moment of 2001
> Stadia: Place as a fortress, the teams sent home packing
> Ladder position: Battle for who to rule at the top
The above should be discussion points that people want to have, it pushes the story of the NBL, what's going on. It informs people and peaks their interest. We all know Subiaco is hard to win in, Tippett v Crows history, Dangerfield virtually unbeatable, Hawks perpetual success...
#3 Commentators need to realise what to analyse and what not to analyse in the pre-game. The above narrative should be followed on...
> Here are the teams on the ladder
> This was the last result between the sides
> This is their current form and the importance/ramification
> This is the key matchup (brought to you by....#sponsor) to focus on
> These are the starting 5's for each team
#4 Camera Angles & Highlights - When a player brings the ball up relatively slowly you can have a close up angle, during game play show the usual birds-eye view, after a score show a quick close up of the player who scored if the other team isn't pushing the ball up fast. Definitely do it if they do a dunk, knock down a big three or do an And-1 on a foul - follow the emotion without depriving people of game being played. Highlights should be provided of a) Big threes/dunks/alleys/epic passes/blocks, b) good momentum play or offensive movement, c) controversial moments/in dispute calls/non-calls, d) emotion displayed by players or coaches. These highlights should not be at the expense of showing the game played, do them in little breaks or the nearest uneventful moment.
#5 Time Outs - If it goes to an advert then follow the ESPN style, show the key moment that just occurred or moments if there are a few have the commentator say something as a little music begins and off to a commercial. If there are no adverts then continue the narrative, emotion of the game because on many occasions time outs occur in momentous periods for one of the sides, one might be rolling another might be under the pump. Show a couple of highlights of those key momentous plays, the emotion of the players if they display it show a graphic saying the scoring run or if a player is hot show his stats etc. Then cut to the last bits of one of the team so you can see the coach doing his thing while commentators make their final points. After the time out and as play begins again have the sideline reporter give a brief on what was said by the coach.
If there's something particularly interesting said by a coach, do what ESPN does and replay that moment and commentators can discuss it a little.
#6 Quarter/3Q time break: Who's hot, who's cold, key area of success for side that's happier and key area for struggle for side that isn't so happy
#7 Halftime break:
> Re-look at the matchup or the narrative story
> Look at the potential ramification if the result continues
> What's going well + highlights /what's not + highlights
> Stats leaders in points & key other stat that's relevant to that particular game
> Best player stats and highlights
> Star player who's cold stats and highlights
#8 End of game:
> Look at end of game stats
> Interview of player
> Player of the game + highlights
> Key moment of the game + highlights
> Ramification on the live ladder
> What game is next for both sides
> What game is next to be shown on Fox/7