Last week, we brought you the story of the Wizards *and* Pistons announcers miscalling a buzzer beater at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. We then brought you the explanation of just why exactly the Verizon Center is an awful place to call a game, as written by an anonymous NBA announcer. Now, we know why the Wizards moved their TV teams off the court: for money, of course. DC Sports Bog has the details.
The benefits for the Wizards aren’t slight. Moving radio and then TV broadcasts off the floor created 16 new “Owner’s Club” seats, eight between the scorer’s table and each team bench. Those seats sell for $1,500 a game as part of a season-ticket package, and grant access to the remodeled Owner’s Club. The team sold the entire allotment this year, bringing in about $1 million.
And there’s probably no going back. A team spokesman said the broadcasters would be unlikely to move back to the floor, citing the economic benefits of additional premium seating
It really is all about the money. At $1,500 per seat, the Wizards are bringing in a cool 24 grand per game, assuming all 16 seats sell out. With 41 home games per season, that comes out to just shy of $1 million in extra profit per season, at the low cost of making games that much less watchable for fans at home due to commentary that's off the mark.
Putting the announcers at such an odd angle just seems odd, especially in a sport like basketball. Imagine if a baseball broadcast team was positioned halfway up the first base line to call a game as opposed to being behind the plate, or if a football crew was positioned at the 20 instead of midfield. I'm really not sure the distance is such a huge deal in this situation, but the angle is a definite issue, and hopefully the Wizards are able to correct that going into next season.