If you don’t know by now, Indiana’s final non-conference game is tonight at 7 p.m. against North Carolina Central and cannot be seen live on television.
This will be the third and final IU basketball game of the season that is tape-delayed and re-aired on the Big Ten Network. I called the first two games, an exhibition game against UIndy and a December matchup versus Stetson.
This N.C. Central game was originally scheduled for December 7th, three days before the Kentucky game. Coach Crean wanted more time to prepare for the rival and he didn’t want another long bye week this late in the season. So he rescheduled the game.
The Big Ten Network already had their television schedule set, so they then considered start times of 4:30 and 10:30, but both were decided to be unreasonable. So now the game will air live on BTN.com (at a cost), and be replayed on the network at 10:30 p.m. EST.
As we close the end of the Big Ten slate, Wednesday night is a great night in hoops, with a triple-header now scheduled for BTN. All three have many storylines to watch. Purdue hosts Nebraska at 6:30 p.m., followed by Minnesota and Michigan State at 8:30. Indiana-North Carolina Central’s game will air in the nightcap.
Tonight’s broadcast will also be different in the fact that the two announcers will not be in attendance. Wayne Larrivee and Keno Davis, will commentate the game from BTN’s Chicago studios and IU’s Jeremy Gray will serve as sideline reporter.
This isn’t new for BTN, who have broadcast soccer, volleyball and women’s basketball games this way. But it’s rare, so far, in men’s basketball and a first for IU basketball.
I’m not a big fan of the new style way because it’s a shortcut to get a broadcast on air at a cheaper price. No travel expenses, no hotels, no satellite truck and a smaller, cheaper crew. BTN does have someone at the game who is communicating news, stats and tidbits to another person in the studio to then pass along to the announcers.
As a play-by-play announcer myself, I’m interested to see how the broadcast looks. Given, I do look at a different perspective because of my experiences. I am worried that it takes away from the experience and the commentators are less aware and less informed. If a coach at the other end of the floor is screaming at a player on the bench, they miss it. What’s on the video board above? Don’t know. They only see what is on their screen. I do, however, think it is a future way of broadcasting more games and I expect to take part in some, but it’s just not the same.
On the bright side, fans can watch the game. The Big Ten Network has set a new standard for putting games on air. The access is even greater today, primarily because of technology, investment, and foresight. You can even watch the games on your iPhone or iPad. Something I don’t think many people envisioned doing a few years ago. My guess is that we will see more games done this way and be used to it. For now, it’s just different.
The Hoosiers look to rebound from a bad loss at Iowa, finish non-conference play undefeated and improve to 16-1 in Assembly Hall.