Big ten network disappointment

Submitted by mghorm on October 4th, 2009 at 10:50 AM

As i watched yesterday's debocle on BTN i became very frustrated with how poorly produced the game was. The yellow first down line is pretty much a standard thing for football games but BTN didn't have it half the time. It was the worst when it was over ten yards to go.
Did anyone else experience this or am i just being picky?



October 4th, 2009 at 11:12 AM ^

Sadly this is par for the course for BTN. Whether it's not showing the first-down line, skipping over to updates from other games causing viewers to miss plays, mispronouncing names ("Woolfork?" "Craigh Raw?"), or having announcers that inaccurately mention the down or distance (or call a stoppage in play a penalty when in fact it's the end of a quarter), it's definitely disappointing. You might expect it if the network was in its first year, but it's not. Even worse, I don't understand how BTN got a game as big as UM-MSU--it seems to me that it should always be on ABC/ESPN/2.


October 4th, 2009 at 3:39 PM ^

I wouldn't even know what to search for to find this, but when the BTN was first organized, there was an article describing how they choose games. IIRC, most weeks they get the 3rd pick out of the games. I think there are 1-2 weeks where they get either a 1st or 2nd pick. This might have been the week where they used the 1st pick to get the game.


October 4th, 2009 at 11:22 AM ^

advertising. Do you feel a strong desire to go buy jack links beef jerky because of the Jack Links 'Wild fan cam.' Unbelievable. I was just watching the game off pirated links but I can't believe how they just sell the advertising for everything.


October 4th, 2009 at 11:31 AM ^

Seriously, half the time the announcers were like
"I beg your pardon, actually the refs called a timeout"
and this one still gets me:
"The refs said the ruling on the field is confirmed, which means they found indisputable evidence that the call was correct"

Well, no shit, that's why they confirmed it, geniuses. Maybe practice on MSU vs. Montana State before bringing your shenanigans to a rivalry game. Just overall terrible commentary by BTN.


October 4th, 2009 at 11:37 AM ^

Yeah, I heard that one multiple times. Doesn't mean they found "indisputable evidence" necessarily, he doesn't seem to understand that an upheld replay can also mean they DIDN'T find evidence to overturn the call.

Or what about "He got enough for the first down", then "It's close enough that they're going to measure", though how he could tell without the (likely incorrectly-placed) yellow first down marker I don't know.


October 4th, 2009 at 12:58 PM ^

Hate to be a dick, but there are semantics involved in the replays. "Confirmed" means indisputable evidence that the call was correct on the field. "Stands" means it was hazy and they can't over turn it. "Overturned" means indisputable evidence that the call was crap on the field. Watch for it next time.


October 4th, 2009 at 11:37 AM ^


Coming from a Big 12/SEC area, I can't complain at all that i'm able to enjoy the B10 network. Previously, I would have to rely on "local" coverage, or subscribe to the espn gameplan to see a really bad espn regional broadcast using mainly local announcers.


October 4th, 2009 at 12:01 PM ^

Yeah, no complaints about availability, etc., but they've got to try harder than "It's (slightly) better than listening to the game on the radio (if you turn your TV's sound off)." With better commentating and production I don't think anybody with access to BTN would groan every time their team's games were scheduled there.
And yes, I think overall the network is a big positive for other college sports, especially when you can't count on getting access to ESPNU/360, CSTV, etc.

Greg McMurtry

October 4th, 2009 at 11:59 AM ^

points mentioned so far. The announcers appear to do no game preparation. The commercials and cut-aways were long and annoying. I found myself flipping to the Wisconsin v Minnesota game just to avoid them (and "scout" Wisconsin.) I also found that when the yellow first down line was there, it was either not exactly 10 yards or it did not match the actual spot of the ball. Anyway, just venting...


October 4th, 2009 at 12:18 PM ^

My wife, who is a huge fan, but only has rudimentary understanding of the game says to me:

"If my career doesn't work out I should go become a BTN announcer. How hard is it to say stuff like 'You see, the quarterback wants to win the game, which is the opposite of not winning' and 'What you have here is a situation where the team wants to score points' or 'These guys are really interested in playing the game'"


October 4th, 2009 at 12:42 PM ^

review the roster if you are unfamiliar with the teams. I would think this shouldn't be a problem if you work for the BTN, right?

Craig Raw?
Ryan Van Buren?
Wilfork? Woolfork?

I don't know, maybe its just me?


October 4th, 2009 at 12:48 PM ^

Look guys I bet ESPN wasn't at the top of its game the third year of its existence. Let's just be thankful that we can watch all the Michigan games without living in AA.

BUT I will agree that it is painful that the announcers don't prepare as much as say, ESPN announcers, when it comes to the players names. I could care less about mindless banter (e.g., "The QB wants to win the game").


October 4th, 2009 at 1:02 PM ^

I know you have to make some allowances since the network's only in its 3rd year, but as people have pointed out, these guys have covered Michigan (and presumably football itself) before and they still don't seem to get it. One of them (I forget which) during the Eastern game alternately called Craig Roh "Raw" and then "Roh" and even corrected himself, then went right back to "Raw". Not to mention "Woolfork"/"Woolfolk". I wouldn't expect even an ESPN commentator to get everything right on a good day, but messing up names in combination with an apparent lack of understanding of basic rules and procedures kind of takes you out of the game. What I should probably do in the future is just watch the game on mute.


October 4th, 2009 at 1:23 PM ^

Yeah this was kind of my point.

1) It's only the network's third year so they are still "figuring stuff out" like hiring the right announcers for the job.

2) The pronunciation of the names thing is very annoying.


October 4th, 2009 at 2:25 PM ^

Bad camera angles, missed plays and so on are still there.

I tried listening to the audio stream with Beckman and Brandstatter for one game. Unfortunately they were too far out of sync and I turned it off. I couldn't find the link yesterday, though.


October 4th, 2009 at 3:10 PM ^

That's definitely true. I've also tried the mute/audio experiment but I'm usually either watching on satellite or digital cable so I've had the same lag problem. It's always fun listening to Brandstatter, though, because he's such a homer. Still, plenty of TV commentators bend over backwards to explain a bad call by a ref instead of directly criticizing them, so you usually get either extreme. That's why I like the color guys that aren't afraid to say "That was a bad call."


October 4th, 2009 at 10:27 PM ^

Wayne Larimie is a former ESPN announcer who bounced over to the Big 10 (He used to call many Big 10 games).

The worst parts for me, some which were already mentioned, were that the HD signal would freeze up every 30 seconds (I missed the 1st INT and had to catch the replay to see what happened), and missing plays because they do not understand how to time their commercials to gameplay.

I missed an entire MSU possession when they had it in our red zone. Next thing I know they come back from a T.O. and MSU failed to convert 3rd down and sent out the FG unit.

I never want to see a Michigan game on that network again.

A Case of Blue

October 4th, 2009 at 3:11 PM ^

Speaking of Rotel, what is going on in that creepy ad of theirs?

Weird-looking dude runs into a hair salon demanding Rotel-Velveeta queso. Pretty girl leads him to a back room stocked with Rotel and Velveeta, prepares queso, hand-feeds him first queso-laden chip. Dude runs back out through salon carrying bowl of queso dip.

Is this funny? Am I missing something? And why is a hair salon so full of Rotel and Velveeta?


October 5th, 2009 at 2:57 AM ^

Give 'em some time. I mean, yeah tons of stuff is amateurish, but I think they will get better over time. And it is cool we have our own 24 hour network. We get to see way more games and other programming that would never be on otherwise. It will get better.


October 5th, 2009 at 3:34 AM ^

During the EMU game, they kept refering to a Craig "Roth"...whoever that is. Then while watching the MSU game I noticed them Call RVB "Van Buren". What a bunch of fuckin dolts.