I just watched the first period of the Penguins and Capitals from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. I realize there's a Leafs game on, but it's the Winter Classic and I'm a sucker for events, even silly made-for-TV sporting events, and the HBO 24/7 series actually had me psyched for this one. Besides, the Leafs are handling the Sens with ease.
Because the Leafs game was on CBC here in Toronto, I watched most of the first period on NBC. It was horrible. Not just the commentary, which was clearly aimed at the non-fan or casual fan, but the camera angles. NBC keeps going to this aerial shot that is so distant it's impossible to follow the action. They keep going to this shot because they can, and normal games are indoors, making such stunts impossible, but they're going to it far too often and for far too long.
Even when we're not getting the aerial shot, it feels like the camera is simple too far away. I've been watching hockey on television for thirty years and I'm having trouble following the play. How is a non-fan or casual fan supposed to enjoy the game?
It's also dingy. I didn't notice how dingy it was until I switched to the CBC feed. The CBC feed was bright, close to the action and far superior.
I get it... sorta.... For NBC, the star of this show is that it's outdoors and played in a football stadium. Hence the long distance shots. For CBC, it's the Pens vs. Caps and we're getting standard angles and proven shots. It makes for better hockey.
It's just a shame we showcase our game on NBC and don't look our best. No wonder Americans are so indifferent to the greatest sport in the world.