Fox Sports To Offer Advanced-Analytics Simulcast of NLCS Game 1
Statheads will finally have their moment in the national sports-television sun during Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Fox (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET).
While the traditional game broadcast from St. Louis takes place on the Fox broadcast network, Fox Sports 1 will host a special, advanced-analysis simulcast of the game from the network’s studios in Los Angeles. NLCS on Fox Sports 1 Powered by JABO is produced in partnership with FoxSports.com’s new baseball blog, Just a Bit Outside.
The goal of the simulcast is to create an “unconventional game-viewing experience” that puts statistics, sabermetrics, and graphics at the forefront of conversation and debate.
“Fox Sports works hard to bridge the gap between television, digital, and social media,” says Matt Schnider, VP, digital production, Fox Sports. “This is a multiplatform show that incorporates all of those elements around the brand of … JABO. We want to bring the fans into our broadcast. In addition to the analysis on-air, Fox Sports will be hosting a live interactive chat via Twitter and on JustaBitOutside.com. We’ll also be creating new blog posts throughout the game that give the site a fresh look when we showcase it during the telecast.”
On the production and technical end, a show of this nature will obviously feature plenty of specialty graphics. Fox will use Sportvision’s O-zone product to produce batter-spray charts and defensive-shift graphics. Vizrt’s Viz Libero will also be used for enhanced highlight packages.
In addition to the clean program feed, the in-studio production team will be taking in two additional camera feeds from the trucks onsite for extended replays. The low home angle will be used to isolate pitchers; the tight center will focus on batters.
“We’ll never lose sight of the game,” says Schnider. “So, when there is a big play, that will be our focus. But we’ll also use a double box to show both the game and elements around the game, including great debate, extended replays, statistics, and demonstrations. In addition, we’ll use lower-third graphics that incorporate advanced metrics and explanations so that fans who are new to sabermetrics will be able to follow along.”
The show will be hosted by Kevin Burkhardt, who will be joined by analysts/JABO contributors Gabe Kapler and CJ Nitkowski, FoxSports.com Senior Baseball Editor Rob Neyer, and San Diego Padres Manager Bud Black.
In addition to the linear simulcast, Fox Sports will host a live interactive chat on social media using the handle @MLBONFOX, and fans can follow the conversation using the hashtag #JABO. JustaBitOutside.com will also feature live blogging and video clips of analysis during the game.
NLCS on Fox Sports 1 Powered by JABO will air on Fox Sports 1 on Saturday Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. ET. Viewers can also watch the traditional broadcast on Fox or the Spanish telecast on Fox Deportes. All NLCS Game 1 telecasts will be available through Fox Sports Go.