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Rinkside View Loses By Landslide Margin

COMMENTARY: Viewers overwhelmingly loathe the “rinkside view” that Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket is showing on Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks telecasts. It is time for this utter failure of an experiment to end. Now.


LOS ANGELES — In the spirit of both Halloween and the 2008 election, Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket (FSW/PT) is scaring fans away from their Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks high definition (HD) broadcasts this season, and it is quite clear that the voters have spoken and have given Tom Feuer, Executive Director of FSW/PT, and both the Kings and Ducks, a mandate to dump the “rinkside view” that they are using this season on all HD broadcasts for the Kings and Ducks.

In fact, as voters across the country decide on Barack Obama vs. John McCain, and as California voters are about to decide on propositions dealing with marriage, funding public transportation projects, reapportionment and the like, Southern California hockey fans have also voted and they have given a landslide victory to the No on Rinkside View campaign.

To be sure, the outcry from fans has been so overwhelming that it is, to say the least, rather curious that FSW/PT has not already dumped rinkside view, which utilizes cameras at ice level to bring viewers an up-close view of the game action, specifically, whereever the puck is.

The problem with this view is that although it can be rather cool to see the action using such a close view, it does not translate well to television at all. To be sure, because of the speed of the game, hockey does not translate nearly as well as basketball, football or baseball to television and it must be viewed from cameras above ice level to get the proper perspective.

Instead, what FSW/PT is doing with their HD broadcasts is nothing more than dizzying and nauseating. The camera angles are so limited that you cannot watch play away from the puck, which is as important as the play around it—it takes far more away from the game broadcast than it adds. To most, it is not something they can watch for more than a few minutes, if that.

Kings and Ducks broadcasts have traditionally suffered from poor ratings and FSW/PT is obviously testing rinkside view in the hopes that it will give their Kings and Ducks broadcasts a boost in viewership. But this horrible gimmick is just that…a gimmick. It does nothing to improve hockey on television. Rather, it seriously detracts from it and while it might raise the curiosity of a miniscule number of infrequent viewers or even a small handful of brand new viewers, rinkside view is not going to improve their ratings. Indeed, if FSW/PT thinks those viewers will be hooked by it, they are badly mistaken. Moreover, rinkside view is already driving their core viewers away en masse—no doubt a losing proposition for FSW/PT.

Someone might want to give the folks responsible for rinkside view over at FSW/PT a lesson in basic math and since some of them apparently believe that rinkside view is worthwhile, a few pointers on hockey would also seem to be in order. And there is one other thing…perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised about this. After all, Fox is also responsible for another travesty in terms of broadcasting hockey on television…the infamous “glow puck” that still makes hockey fans shudder to this day.


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13 Responses to Rinkside View Loses By Landslide Margin

  1. AzKing says:

    Who is the idiot who came up with idea? I mean, it would take a pure novice without so much as a clue to even pass that dumb idea by a group and not be laughed out of the room. But…it takes even a bigger dunce to actually implement it.

    This is a classic course in How To Get Fired 101.

  2. Gann Matsuda says:

    What if everyone in the group over at FSW/PT thought it was a good idea, or if it was the Executive Producer’s (the person in charge) idea?

    I don’t know whose idea it was, but those are both possibilities.

  3. David Notko says:

    It’s so brutal, I have been switching to the other teams broadcasts on center ice.

  4. hckybuf says:

    I do not like the hd rink side view and agree that it was idiotic that anyone even thought it up. The need to get rid of it, go back to the original view and fire whoever is resposible

  5. Erin says:

    Do executives even look at a product before they release it to the public? Anyone with a brain knows that maybe a shot or two during a game rinkside is ok, but most of the game is just plain stupid. I don’t even like to sit next to the glass when I go to a game. I personally prefer sitting at least halfway up the lower level so I’m looking slighly down on the action and therefore able to see the game better.

  6. cristobal says:

    the rinkside view IS NOT a bad idea, but the direction and camera work is bush league. If the extra cameras and angles were integrated with the overhead, it has definite possibilities. I would guess that most directors and camera men never played hockey and don’t know how to anticipate or read the play. Thus, they’re constantly a step behind and trying to catch up.

  7. Marc Nathan says:

    Was there actually a poll, or a vote? Where is the “overwhelmingly loathe” result. I mean, I know it’s true, but I’d like to add my vote, and see the results.

  8. Gann Matsuda says:

    The whole “election” theme was a bit of creative license on my part, really, but it is quite clear that a staggering majority of fans hate rinkside view.

    Rich Hammond had a poll on his blog, and I saw a couple of others. They’re all likely closed by now, however.

  9. Peter E says:

    The only time they should use the camera angles in rinkside view is for a replay. Using them for live action is a tremendous disaster. I actually dislike rinkside view so much, I will either switch the game off, or watch another game in traditional view, even if it isn’t my Ducks playing. It’s bad when I rather watch a team other than the one I root for, because the coverage is much more palatable. The vast majority can’t stand this failed new rinkside view, so why hasn’t Tom Feuer at FSN dumped it yet? I know he has mentioned hearing the majority of negative views regarding rinkside view, so what is taking so long to go back to the traditional format? I know he has at least received three direct correspondences from me alone. I agree with AZKing who said, “this is a classic course on How to Get Fired 101″. Who is Tom Feuer’s boss, since writing to Mr. Feuer seems to be to no avail. Hey Tom, fact, the majority hate rinkside view, solution, get rid of it. Not a real difficult decision.

  10. Gann Matsuda says:

    I wish I could tell you who Tom Feuer’s boss is, but I don’t know. I strongly recommend that you write to the person in charge of broadcasting with the Ducks about it. Wouldn’t hurt to write to the Kings about it too, since the issue is theirs to deal with as well.

  11. Mark H says:

    Any good hockey fan has no trouble at all following the game on TV, but now I do. I feel like I’ve spent 2 1/2 hours out on the Pacific Ocean in a Disneyland Tea Cup after watching a game.

  12. Pingback: Don’t Like Rinkside View? Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket Says, Then “Don’t Watch” « Frozen Royalty

  13. ian22 says:

    I find the rinkside view literally nauseating and headache-inducing. I’ve actually turned-off the broadcasts featuring rinkside view the few times they’ve featured it this season. I would say that at least in my case it’s getting them NEGATIVE ratings.

    I’ll continue to seek-out illegal feeds of the opposing team’s broadcast on the internet and FSN-W’s sponsors should be made aware of this somehow. I know for a fact I’m not the only one.

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