Does Not Deserve the World Series
Washington, D.C. (October 28,
2010) -- I realize that Fox
outbid its rivals for the rights to broadcast the World Series
(and the NL Championship Series). But the network's continued
sloppy HD coverage of the games compels me to say that it
doesn't deserve to be the sole broadcaster of such a prestigious
Last week, I noted that Fox's HD picture during the NL series
was so soft and grainy that it didn't look like real high-def. I
even questioned whether the picture was HD at all, but I have
been assured by industry sources that it was. They said that the
problem appeared to be at the source -- meaning Fox's
transmission to its local affiliates apparently lacked
sufficient quality control.
My observations about the sub-par HD picture was echoed in
Internet message boards such as the well-respected AV Forum. Fox
viewers could not understand why the picture was so soft,
particularly during the games broadcast from San Francisco. (In
contrast, TBS' HD coverage of the AL Championship Series was
Despite the poor showing, I was hopeful that last night's
coverage of game one of the World Series would be different.
The picture again lacked the pop and crispness that we have come
to expect (and love) from high-def. During close-ups of the
players, there was little detail in their faces and the shots of
the field action were even more watery.
Usually during a HD baseball broadcast, the picture is so clear
that you can see the stitches of a baseball as it sails across
the diamond; you can read the signature of a player on his
baseball bat; why you can even clearly detect the skin texture
of the faces of the fans in their seats.
But the Fox HD picture last night often made you wonder why
people got so excited about high-def. I could almost hear HD
doubters saying, 'What's the big deal? Why did I buy this
expensive TV? For this?"
FYI, I watched last night's game on DIRECTV and Comcast on my
local Washington, D.C. affiliate, WTTG-TV. But before you
suggest that my local station was having a problem, again look
message board of the AV Forum.
The site was littered with complaints from Giants/Rangers
viewers who were watching the game on different stations across
(One more note on this point: MLB Network aired a pre-game show
from Pacific Bell Park, the site of the game in San Francisco,
and the picture was beautiful. Crisp, sharp, vivid. Everything
you hope for in HD.)
The bottom line is that Fox is screwing up one of the great
traditions of sport. By serving up a sub-par picture, it's
taking some of the fun out of watching a great game.
I realize again that Fox paid its money to carry the games. But
in the future, I would hope that Major League Baseball and other
professional leagues would insist on some quality control being
part of the contract. The poor picture does not reflect well on
So until Fox commits the resources to improve the picture, I
must say that the network doesn't deserve
to carry the World Series or any other major sporting event.
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