New TNF Amazon Alternative Broadcasts Revealed!
NFL Week 3 - Tired of ordinary television? Don't touch that dial! Amazon Prime's alternate Thursday Night Football broadcasts are on the air! Why watch the same-old NFL production, whether of the Week 3 Pittsburgh Steelers-Cleveland Browns matchup or any other Thursday nighter, when you could be watching…
Amazon Deluxe ADHD/MDMA Vision
Finally, a telecast for the NFL IPA snobs who appreciate football on far deeper levels than the rest of us!
Start with a wider angle which shows more of the secondary and less of the backfield, which is admittedly rather cool. Then, shrink the screen by about 30% by adding info-bars along the right side and bottom. Cram those info-bars with fantasy stats, gambling nuggets, and real-time "analytics" (actually just inscrutable microdetails), often simultaneously.
Does the wider angle and smaller screen shrink the actual players to about eight pixels on even the best televisions? No worries! Fantasy-relevant players are identified on screen with name boxes and arrows, and their routes are traced by brightly-colored trails like the hockey puck in a 1990s NHL broadcast.
If you think it's too much, you're too old. ADHD/MDMA Vision is the perfect option if you want to wake up on Friday morning certain that Diontae Johnson had a 61.7687% efficiency rate on drag routes but uncertain about who won the game. Oh, who are we kidding: you won't be waking up on Friday morning after the ADHD/MDMA Vision telecast, because you will be too hyperstimulated to sleep for days!
Amazon Bruh Bruh Bruh Bruh Bruh Vision
Ever sit at a bar on an NFL Sunday surrounded by backwards-baseball cap dudebros you have never met bragging at the top of their lungs about their Saturday night conquests/pukefest while occasionally making erroneous/obnoxious comments about the games? Ever think, "Golly, I need an egomaniacal billionaire to assemble my nephew's five favorite YouTube sensations to replicate this experience in my living room every Thursday night?"
If so, the Amazon Bruh Bruh Bruh Bruh Bruh Vision is for you. After all, why merely watch the game when you can watch a guy performing a kegstand while watching guys dunking basketballs on a kiddie hoop while watching guys trying to pick up college sophomores (confirmed by legal department) watching the game?
Tune in this week when Da Bruhs eat chicken marinated in NyQuil, fill a slow-cooker with cherry bombs, and spend the third quarter explaining why Deshaun Watson is AOK in their book.
Amazon Traditional Boxing Stills Slide Vision
What, you haven't splurged for an Internet connection powerful enough to simultaneously host a League of Legends tournament and control multiple weather satellites? Shame on you for attempting to maintain some semblance of an offscreen-life balance, you Luddite freak!
Fortunately, Amazon has you … covered w—glitchy … still frames and vid … whichspeedsupforafewseconds but … then … crashesssss if anyone else in your household is trying to send an email or something.
If you don't like it, go build a barn, Brother Ezekiel.
Amazon Latinex Interest Vision
Not to be confused with a traditional Spanish language telecast, this alternate viewing experience focuses on what the NFL thinks folks of Latin American heritage want to see: Ryan Fitzpatrick wearing a sombrero he bought for a Harvard Cinco De Cuatro rager in 2003 and saying things like "Holy Frijoles!" after touchdowns while Tony Gonzalez clutches a giant wad of Bezos-bucks to his chest and repeats, "It's OK folks. This can't be problematic if I'm here."
Rest assured that a focus group of Jeff Bezos' closest friends and Dan Snyder thoroughly vetted this telecast.
Amazon Alternate Latinex Interest Vision
It's a soccer game.
Amazon Confirm Your Priors Vision
In case you missed it, the Chargers won the Week 2 Confirm Your Priors Vision telecast 26-15; Justin Herbert's pick-six was deleted because viewers just couldn't cope with their prince making a mistake.
In tonight's edition of Priors Vision, Kenny Pickett will replace Mitch Trubisky after his third interception and lead the Steelers to a comeback victory. And make sure you tune in for next week's Priors Vision, when a dude wearing a dolphin mask will kick down your door while you are watching and start beating you over the head with a two-by-four screaming, "Stop (whap) giving (whap) Tyreek (whap) credit (whap) for Tua's success! (thwap thwap thwap)."
Amazon Fourth-Down Bold Vision
For $8.99 per month, Jeff Evilmoby will order coaches to go for it on fourth-and-short for you. It's not the capitalism we need, but it's the capitalism we deserve.
Amazon Deluxe Platinum Customizable Prime Vision
For $29.99 per minute, Amazon allows you to control everything via sliders accessible by your video game controller or television remote. Tilt the camera angles any which way! Toggle fantasy/wagering data off and on! Choose your announcers! Add or remove graphics! It's the bespoke NFL broadcast you deserve!
An estimated 99.5% of Amazon Deluxe Platinum Customizable Prime Vision beta users, after hours of tinkering, chose a traditional broadcast hosted by Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit.
Amazon Alternate Telecasts We'd Actually Like to See
OK, enough wisecracks. Amazon is at least trying to be innovative with that busy, cluttered Prime Vision broadcast and the weird Dude Perfect stuff. Past broadcast improvements, like the on-screen score and switch to high definition, were vast, almost universally accepted improvements. And the ManningCast has been breaking new ground on Monday nights for a few years on ESPN networks. Change is good. (He repeats, clutching a pillow and rocking). If Walkthrough could design the ideal alternate NFL telecasts, what would we choose?
An X-and-O Cast: The wider angle used on the Prime Vision is indeed pretty sweet. It's not really coach's film, but it adds at least 10 yards of the secondary to the frame while taking away the negative space behind the quarterback that comes from centering the line of scrimmage in the middle of the screen.
So let's start with the wide angle and add some tactics-minded broadcasters. Dan Orlovsky would be good in a role like this. So would Jason Garrett. Maybe a coach, a quarterback, and an ex-lineman to talk about the trenches, all of them focusing on strategies instead of storylines. This broadcast would adopt the best elements of the old college football BCS Championship Coaches Film Room—deep dives into plays, a chummy low-key atmosphere—while improving on all the weaknesses of that production: too unfocused, endless discussion of 2-yard runs while missing touchdowns, too much screen time devoted to middle-aged dudes sitting around a table. Our X-and-O Cast experts would be instructed to only break out the clickers on big plays, and we would only cut to see their faces during breaks in the action.
It's worth noting here that actual real-time coach's film, popular as that might be among some of my friends, would be unwatchable for about 99% of the target audience. The players would be unappealingly small on screen. The midfield angle is great for deeper passes but terrible for running plays. The end zone view has the opposite issue. Coaches don't use coach's film to analyze games in real time, because it takes multiple rewinds and replays to process all the information. And it's easy in my line of work to forget that most viewers want to enjoy the game, not micro-scrutinize it.
A Fantasy and Gambling Cast: Or perhaps one FantasyCast and one GamblingCast; each audience is large enough to sustain itself. Here's where the sidebars and crawl along the bottom of the screen belong. This is also a place to use some quirky announcers or personalities. A simple paradigm for fans more invested in their overlaid gaming experiences than the game itself.
A Post-Game Condensed Telecast: The NFL has a muddied relationship with condensed games. They used to show them on NFL Network midweek but stopped a few years ago. They offer them on NFL+ but go out of their way to make them viewer-unfriendly. Someone at league headquarters must think millions of fans would rather wait for Tuesday and watch a one-hour cutup than spend three-and-a-half hours watching football games (and playing fantasy, wagering, tailgating, sharing a thrilling live experience) and all those sweet, sweet commercials.
In reality, condensed games appeal to a niche market, and I'm part of that niche: those every-play-but-no-filler cutups make Walkthrough possible. But I'll wager that Eagles and Bills fans would happily watch a one-hour cutup of their Monday night victories on Tuesday evening if it was just sitting atop their Amazon feed. And if there's a late comeback on Thursday Night Football? Plenty of fans who would never re-watch a full-length broadcast would load up a condensed replay.
So start with an intro by a pair of hosts ("Here's what to look for"), then make sure the cutup features every play, replays of big plays, perhaps snippets of postgame interviews in little boxes, some quick inserts from the hosts at halftime, and key turning points. It would end up getting more viewership than Dude Perfect, and it would have a longer shelf life.
No "AnalyticsCast," Please: Look, analytics are wonderful, but they don't work very well in real time. Attempt to craft a data-driven live telecast and you will end up with:
- A barrage of meaningless stat tidbits;
- Folks spouting off barrages of decimals and percentages, which (trust this old math teacher) are almost impossible to digest during the flow of a game; and/or
- Braying self-promoters getting arch and snippy about fourth-and-short punts, goal-to-go fades, and the other predictable analytics bugaboos.
Don't get me wrong: I think there should be analytics-heavy elements to pregame shows, midweek programming, and so forth. But data needs to be baked, curated, and carefully presented. I can appear on radio shows explaining that the Denver Broncos rank 31st in goal-to-go DVOA, and the segments work because I can remind listers about the fumbles and field goals, emphasize certain words for maximum impact (second-to-LAST at the GOAL LINE) and, critically, do it all knowing that they won't score a 1-yard touchdown the moment I am done speaking. Also, that's one stat-heavy talking point among two or three in a 10-minute segment. Spread that out across three hours and even my best friends would switch to Dude Perfect.
Ripping short-yardage punts on Twitter or the Football Outsiders Discord is also lots of fun in real time, but that's an interactive experience: you make a joke, I make a joke, some stranger makes a better joke and we share it, and so forth. Peyton, Eli, and Shannon Sharpe losing their minds over poor clock management is hysterical, but none of my peers have the charisma, bona fides, or breadth of football knowledge of two Hall of Famers and their kin. An analytics-focused telecast would devolve quickly into two or three beardos or beardo-adjacents waiting around for coaching decisions to roast. As a beardo who roasts coaching decisions, I can assure you that would be horrendous television.
Maybe I am turning into an old coot (hush), but all I really want from a football telecast is a clear picture of the action, a chance to see the formations instead of the quarterback's face before the snap, announcers with clear diction, several angles of key plays, few commercials, scaled-back mythmaking, and a feeling that I am part of energy and excitement in the stadium. I get most of that by turning the volume low and ignoring most color commentators. I get my analytics here and my wagering thrills on my second screen. It's great that folks who want diagrams and spreads and Nickelodeon slime on the screen are finding it easier to get their fix. Just tell me what channel/service the game is on, don't make it expensive, and please keep giving me the option to watch what I have been watching for decades.