The NBA doesn’t want remote broadcasts to happen during the 2022-23 season.

Per the Sports Business Journal, the league is telling RSNs that they must send broadcasters to all road games this season.

The NBA has told RSNs that they have to send game announcers to every away game this season, a significant difference from last season when the pandemic caused the league to give RSNs more leeway in how they produce road games.

The mandate is part of broadcasting guidelines that the league gives to RSNs and their national TV rightsholders at the beginning of every season. These guidelines stipulate everything from the minimum number of cameras they have to use at games to specific requirements for video feeds.

Remote broadcasts became widespread in the summer of 2020 when sports began to return after the pandemic suspended play. Many continued to exist over the last year or so, with networks deeming them a fine way to cut costs. The Portland Trail Blazers’ broadcasters were originally going to call road games remotely this season, but strong fan backlash forced a u-turn. It turns out that the NBA may have also had a hand in the Blazers sending their broadcast team to road games.

The NHL isn’t mandating announcers on the road, per the SBJ report.

The NHL issues similar guidelines, but the league this season is not mandating that RSN announcers travel to every game. Every RSN contacted for this story says it plans to send announcers to every one of its NHL games.

Broadcasters being on-site simply results in a better broadcast. And sure, while RSNs can save some money by not sending broadcasters on the road, but the overall quality of the broadcast suffers and brings the ire of viewers, and perhaps the teams and the league.

[Sports Business Journal]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.