ESPN will apparently be airing a simulcast of Kentucky’s basketball practice on ESPNU today.
Lexington TV station WKYT agreed to air the practice after Kentucky’s victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday, when coach John Calipari said he wanted to do something to break up the week, as the Wildcats don’t have a game. ESPN quickly jumped on the offer to simulcast the program on ESPNU, as the station wasn’t airing any live programming during the timeframe of the practice. The practice is open to all Kentucky students, staff, and faculty.
Now, while this seems pretty cool on the outside, digging in gives me a little bit of a negative view of things. Because it’s a simulcast, the ESPN broadcast will be manned by local announcers as opposed to their own crew. Now, while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, imagine the bias. It could get a little ugly. I don’t see how watching practice, without unbiased announcing or a floor reporter, is going to give viewers some sort of insight into the inner workings of the Kentucky program. I’d understand if there was some sort of “behind the scenes interview and analysis” but it’s just going to be video of the Kentucky practice, with a pair of local announcers narrating it. At least put Digger Phelps there to debate UK fans on how to act during practice to add some sort of spice.
I know ESPNU is hunting for programming, but a simulcast of practice seems to be a little much. Is anyone that’s not a Kentucky fan even interested in this?
[h/t: Kentucky Sports]