The independent voice of Notre Dame Athletics

  • The Benefits of Technology

    by Mike Coffey

    I probably bag on “technological advancements” and ND’s use of them a lot. Granted, that’s because ND tends not to use them in a quality manner. But never let it be said I’m not willing to consider some of the positive things technology can do for the ND game experience.

    One of the issues I brought up earlier today was the possibility a video screen could be used to lengthen the TV timeouts by making game attendees less aware of how long they were sitting. That got me to thinking about TV timeouts and how people get around them. On my DVR at home, I typically fast-forward right through them. A friend of mine has a policy of recording ND games and sitting down to watch the recording 25-30 minutes after kickoff, enabling him to watch all the game in real-time without commercial interruption.

    Technology has enabled us to speed up our enjoyment of the game at home. So why, I wondered to myself, couldn’t the same effort be applied to those watching in the Stadium?

    Let’s take any ND home game as an example. Up until the 3:30pm kickoff time, the telecast and “live action” are in sync as they are today. The talking heads talk, the eye-candy sideline reporter shows dimples, we see band and team snippets, the whole schmeer.

    Then the kicker approaches the ball and we’re off to the races. The defense holds the offense to a three-and-out**, and we have a punt.

    Normally at this time, NBC would cut away to a commercial while everyone in the Stadium sits. But in the universe in which I’m king, that doesn’t happen. While NBC shows commercials to its heart’s content, after about a minute, the teams take the field to start the next drive. No reason to sit and wait, the game goes on. Once NBC is ready to roll again, they begin broadcasting from where they left off.

    The game in the Stadium ends after about 2.5 hours. The NBC telecast takes as long as it takes. The fans don’t get bored and have more time after the game. NBC (and ND) makes their money.

    Some people might want to see the real-time feed without commercials. No problem. They can pay for a subscription service to get that feed and have a “brought to you by” logo in the corner.

    The technology to do this certainly exists. We stream movies and other events all the time. This pretty much is a concept of tape delay with different timing.  And it wouldn’t necessarily be limited to football, they could do it with any sport.

    Why can’t this work?

    ** I’ll let you imagine which side ND was on


    6 Responses to “The Benefits of Technology”

    1. This is too brilliant to put into play.

      No matter how much I like it, I will not likely see this at Notre Dame.

    2. Obviously makes too much sense. Current model stays till revenue decreases. Cash cow.

    3. cmiller2 says:

      I do this myself sometimes with DVR. But I don’t support its imposition by the networks. It would involuntarily increase the hazard of learning, through social media, media reports or phone calls, the outcome of a game before being able to see the end of it. For better of for worse, no ND fan who watches the regular broadcast would participate in the Romper Room.

    4. Current model stays until revenue decreases. But DVR is already showing decrease in revenue. That and people, myself included, cancelling cable to watch tv, including live sports, online for free. It isn’t hard to do. I mostly watch for free because there is not a way to pay. ND currently sells games on iTunes but they’re available the week after the game is played. But I would pay to watch live from home without commercials, no question. They are missing revenues but they are stuck in a 20 year old mindset. Hard to get people to see the benefits of change and technology.

    5. Rather than complaining, why not focus on what the new technology could bring to fans inside the stadium. For instance their will now be a substantial tv production crew at ND home games workin for the school, why not build the best wifi system in college sports. ND could provide incredible fan engaging elements inside a gameday app such as:
      – different replay angles
      – stats
      – fan voting
      – photo display

      There are a lot of possibilities.

    6. Don in LA says:

      Right….all the people watching at home want to know that they’re not really watching live action, rather a delay to prevent people in the stadium from getting bored. If the people in the stadium are that easily bored, we’re addressing the wrong problem. They need to get up off their backsides and get engaged.