If you watched the Michigan-Ohio State basketball game on ESPN, you may have noticed something very different about the broadcast. No, it wasn’t the broadcast team of Bob Wischusen and Dan Dakich. No, it wasn’t the venue of Value City Arena. It was the courtside low camera angle that the Worldwide Leader chose to use for not just a few minutes, but the entire game. This became quite maddening for viewers who were accustomed to seeing basketball on TV shot from mid-court, but from an angle from high above courtside.
ESPN tried to sell the shot by calling it the “floor seat” angle, but judging from the reaction, it was as popular as Coldplay’s performance at the Super Bowl, perhaps even less.
ESPN did mention the concept of the “floor seat” angle in a press release last week:
The Super Tuesday Big Ten game between Michigan and Ohio State (ESPN, 7 p.m.) will feature a “Floor Seat” treatment, where the majority of the game will be shown from low-angle seats, as if fans at home are watching from courtside. Viewers will get a close-up and personal look at the speed, physicality and skill from the highly-competitive players.
So while it provided something different, it also provided plenty of shots of a referee’s backside:
It was hard to see players when they got close to the rim as the camera did not zoom in and elected to remain at a wide shot. We understand the desire to experiment, but maybe for certain stretches, not an entire game.
As you can imagine, reaction was quite negative:
— Cody (@vtcody) February 17, 2016
This game is unwatchable at any camera angle. But ESPN floor level look is the worst innovation since the blue puck.
— Bob Wojnowski (@bobwojnowski) February 17, 2016
Hey, @espn – it's ok to admit this camera angle is a bad idea. We all have bad ideas. I used to have a bowl hair cut, for example.
— Degenerate TBone (@DegenerateTBone) February 17, 2016
— stacy evans (@Big_Stac) February 17, 2016
Kill this camera angle with the fire of a thousand suns @espn
— Zach Martin (@zamartin) February 17, 2016
Hey ESPN, if I wanted courtside seats to this Michigan-Ohip State game, I would've bought them. Let's go back to a normal camera angle, pls.
— Colleen Thomas (@colleenthomas_) February 17, 2016
— Nick Bunkley (@nickbunkley) February 17, 2016
ESPN floor cameras are like when you play 2k & someone accidentally switches the camera angle but you pause the game BECAUSE IT'S HORRIBLE
— Forrest Gmitro (@ForrestGmitro) February 17, 2016
Hope ESPN never uses this camera angle again
— Jarrel (@_JarrelHarris) February 17, 2016
Hey @espn , the camera angle is brutal. Why are you trying so hard to sell it? Just stop.
— Marc Waite (@WaiteMarc) February 17, 2016
You get the idea.
Perhaps if ESPN elected to dedicate one of its many channels to the “floor seat” angle and use the Mothership for the customary high above courtside angle, people could have a choice to watch it instead of being force-fed. We’d like to say that we won’t see this angle again, but you just never know.