FS1 announcers Eric Collins and Devin Gardner called Virginia-Maryland from a studio. Screengrab via FS1.

All the potential pitfalls of networks doing remote game coverage were on display Friday night for FS1’s broadcast of the Maryland Terrapins hosting the Virginia Cavaliers.

One would think an ACC vs. Big Ten game between schools in neighboring states would merit a broadcast crew at the stadium, but FSI went remote, with Eric Collins and Devin Gardner calling the game from the studio.

As FSI and other networks have shown in the past, it’s difficult to pick up on all the nuances of a game remotely, especially with no sideline reporter on hand, and things were no different in this game. FS1 missed the fact UVA freshman Anthony Colandrea was getting the start at quarterback over senior Tony Muskett. (FSI drew criticism for missing a similar QB situation in their broadcast of the Utah-Washington State game last year.)

The FS1 crew struggled to identify players and missed calls, including Virginia picking up a first down via penalty that caught the crew by surprise. They finally explained the situation a couple of plays later.

This is not meant to throw Collins and Gardner under the bus. They would have certainly preferred to be on hand to broadcast the game from the booth if given the choice. Networks go remote to save money, but in the process, quality suffers. Broadcasters on site can see, for example, a flag being thrown on the field on third down, rather than trying to pick that up from the TV camera.

Viewers checking in on social media were quick to point out all the issues Friday night.

[Richard Martin]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.