WEWS (Channel 5) gave Browns fans one of their first shots at venting Monday morning after the season-opening, 23-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The station’s first mobilecast, which streamed from 7 to 8:30 a.m. via the station’s website and mobile app, came across as very slick with studio-quality production, something that’s not often seen in Internet-only shows. Colleen Seitz, director of new media for WEWS, said the show got nearly 4,000 page views.
Using a piece of equipment called a TriCaster by NewTek, hosts Andy Baskin, WEWS’s sports director, and reporter-anchor Mike Cairns streamed 90 minutes of commercial-free opinion, analysis and fan frustration to computers, smartphones and tablets.
The most intriguing aspect of the experience: the interaction that came from using Skype, where conversations can prove more revealing because of facial expressions.
Is this the future of broadcasting?
It offers a great complement to what’s already available. With its TV-everywhere concept, it offers television stations the chance to produce more programming locally without regard to schedule limitations. When besides a preseason, playoff or championship special is a station likely to dedicate 90 minutes toward analyzing a single football game?
Baskin and Cairns will be among the first to tap into the inevitable high from a win or the disappointment of a loss before it has the chance to fade to black in memories by the time the Monday evening news shows come around. WKNR (850-AM) airs Mike and Mike in the Morning, a nationally syndicated radio show from ESPN. The other competition comes from Kiley & Booms on WKRK (92.3 The Fan).
Overall, there was but one minor glitch that can be attributed to connection problems on one contributor’s end, but for the most part, DAWGS on the run came off without a hitch.
The only problem that Channel 5 could have is if the Browns continue to look like they’re in the first week of training camp as opposed to the regular season.
This experiment will succeed based on the talent of its hosts and the analysis of its guests. That being said, WEWS pulled together an impressive lineup of locally based talent for the premier show, including Josh Cribbs, formerly of the Browns and Kent State; Fox Sports Ohio’s Zac Jackson, Kenny Roda and former Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Matt Wilhelm, who got off one of the better lines of the mobilecast when he said, “I don’t think Buster Skrine played his best game.” Most observers would agree that Skrine, who, to be fair, played injured Sunday, has yet to have a good game.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw probably was least popular in two AFC cities — Cleveland, of course, and Oakland because of the rough-and-tumble games his team and the Raiders used to play. Bradshaw didn’t help that situation with Oakland one iota on Sunday when he suggested in a conversation with Howie Long and Michael Strahan on The NFL on Fox pregame show that the Raiders should head south to Los Angeles.
“I don’t think they will stay in Oakland. They have to move that franchise and have got to go back to Los Angeles,” he told his colleagues.
Given the Raiders were last in attendance last year and their lease ends with O.co Coliseum after this season, it seems like a possibility. It wouldn’t be the first time either. Late Raiders owner Al Davis made moving NFL teams all the rage after he moved the team to L.A. in 1982, paving the way for others, including Art Modell, to chase money. That, however, still doesn’t make it right to advocate for such a move or let alone to actually do it.
Taking a stand
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King isn’t the first to do so, but he might be the most noteworthy to announce that he will no longer use the team’s nickname when talking about Washington, D.C.’s football team.
“I have no idea if this is the right thing to do for the public, or the politically correct thing to do, and I’m not going to sit here and try to preach about it and tell you if you like the name you’re wrong or if you hate the name you’re wrong,” King wrote. “I can just tell you how I feel: I’ve been increasingly bothered by using the word, and I don’t want to be a part of using a name that a cross-section of our society feels is insulting.”
To those complaining about the NFL choosing Bruno Mars for the Super Bowl’s halftime show, might I suggest being happy that they chose someone from this decade and someone with a current cachet. ... Ratings for CBS’ slate of Sunday games rose 8 percent over last year, the best debut for football on the Eye Network in 14 years. ... NBC’s Sunday Night Football also did well, scoring its fifth best opening since having the Sunday franchise and having the highest-rated prime-time broadcast since the Oscars.
George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Sports Media blog at http://www.ohio.com/blogs/sports-media. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.