Anybody want to try to rationalize the NFL's new rule excluding Local TV Photogs from the sidelines?
Does it clear the crowded sidelines of the games? Does it allow the NFL to tighten the reins and better control it's video? Does it give more exclusive access to the regional and network shows?
The answer to all three is, of course, yes, but at what expense?
Certainly local TV sports reports can easily get by with using the network game tapes, but how cheesy is that when trying to produce a localized report on the local team?
TV sports departments bread and butter come from covering the local professional sports by shooting sideline highlights, getting certain isolation shots and gathering interviews with key local personalities. These are the types of stories the networks don't do but local TV can, producing items on a hyper-local level to the viewers watching for the local product.
It's also a disservice to the fans of the NFL. Yes a lot of fans can switch over to ESPN or FSN or (dare I say) this NFL network(now we're getting somewhere) but there are also a lot of fans who like to get the interpretation of the game from their local sports guru.
The NFL really should take a step back and consider what the effect of this new rule means to the tons of casual fans who watch the game. I get 99% of my NFL news from local news and the other 1% from other sources including Cable Sports Nets. I'm only a casual fan of the but I do want to know about the Panthers.
I'm not going to get a tremendous amount of Panther's coverage watching ESPN. Apparantly I may not get much from my local news now either, because why should they bother covering the games if they can't COVER the game.
But hey, there's always the NIFL.