The ESPN broadcast of the Miami Marlins-Philadelphia Phillies game Tuesday took quite a turn. With the Phillies a single out from recording a victory in Game 1 of their Wild Card series against the Marlins, ESPN decided to…cut to a bunch of highlights from other MLB Postseason games Tuesday?
ESPN’s decision to show a bunch of highlights of other games during a critical Marlins-Phillies moment took some criticism. pic.twitter.com/1vqfoNJC82
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 4, 2023
Yeah, that’s a little weird. And yes, the ESPN broadcast eventually showed the final out, with Bryan De La Cruz grounding out to third baseman Alec Bohm (after pitcher Craig Kimbrel committed an intentional balk, moving runner Josh Bell to third). But this was still an unusual choice, and it was one that took some criticism:
uhhh what’s with the ESPN broadcast showing slow mo highlights of other games during the Phillies?
— Corey Cohen (@CoreyECohen) October 4, 2023
*Phillies trying to close out the win*
ESPN broadcast: pic.twitter.com/blGTVXO2RB
— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) October 4, 2023
hey @espn what is this BS clipping in of other action in a weird time during final inning of Phillies game? Really awkward and thought I had lost the coverage I wanted perhaps! #mlbwildcard pic.twitter.com/xZVVU66jA3
— X^2, formerly known as Shon (@Boston2Indy) October 4, 2023
Part of what was so odd here was that there was no acknowledgement of these highlights on the commentary. It might have gone a little smoother with some on-mic discussion there. Instead, viewers only wound up with those highlights being shown over a backdrop of stadium sound from the Marlins-Phillies game. (Update: as per an ESPN spokesperson, the announcers didn’t address this because they were watching a separate feed, which didn’t show that highlight montage.)
There’s certainly some merit to ESPN noting the other Wild Card games going on. And that’s perhaps especially true with so many of those games being on their channels (although their promotional strategy perhaps leaves things to be desired there). But the specific way they did this took a bunch of criticism. We’ll see where this goes from here.
[Awful Announcing on Twitter]