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:


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.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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