Facebook TV: There’s Work To Be Done

BY JOHN PATRICK

Boise State’s basketball game with Utah State was shown on Facebook on Wednesday night. If you weren’t at Taco Bell Arena, it was your only option. The game was produced by Stadium, a new network available on the internet. This was the first game I watched from start to finish on Facebook. I realized early in the broadcast that there would be a learning curve.

I started watching on my IPad. The constant heart and thumbs up emojis flying across my screen were annoying. After posting a comment on Twitter, I was informed how to get rid of that distraction. I decided to move to a room where I have a computer connected to a high definition TV. The picture quality was not the same as streaming Netflix, but it was adequate. I didn’t have many problems with buffering, missing audio or other issues I had experienced while streaming a Boise State basketball game in the past.

My biggest complaint was the way Stadium tried to turn the broadcast into a multi-social media event. There were no commercials. Announcers filled timeouts by reading Facebook comments, showing Instagram photos and constantly soliciting for more photos and comments. At times, they overlapped the game action. It got to the point where I was praying for a Geico commercial. I would have found that more entertaining.

I get it. I’m not in my 20s. I’m not in Stadium’s target demographic. I do like to comment and read comments on Twitter during games, but only from the people I follow. It’s my own exclusive social media group and not everyone is invited.

I appreciate Stadium’s effort. They brought in Doug Gottlieb, a knowledgeable basketball guy, but somewhat unprepared as a color commentator. One Twitter post I read positively described his approach as “just off a bender in Vegas.” I couldn’t agree more with that, although my opinion was in a negative way.

In the past year, there has been talk about more and more Mountain West games being shown on the internet. But if this is the direction we are headed, there is still work to be done.

John “JP’’ Patrick produces Idaho Sports Talk with Caves & Prater weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket. He can be found @JPKTIK (Twitter).

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