Ducks Put the Kibosh on Rinkside View

This was the debut broadcast of FSN West/Prime Ticket’s “Rinkiside View” broadcasts back in January 2007.  The goal was to bring viewers closer to the game by only showing – with no commentary except a roving reporter during breaks – camera placed on top of the glass.  So you would only see the rocker cam behind both nets and the camera on top of the penalty box at Center Ice.

Initially, there was a warm reception to them, but lately, fan reactions have soured.  So, the Ducks have asked that their television partners discontinue them, with four broadcasts remaining in the season getting cancelled.  Via Chris Zupke of the OC Register’s Ducks Blog:

“It’s not something that’s overwhelmingly positive,” said Aaron Teats, Ducks director of broadcasting.

Teats spoke with Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket executive producer Tom Feuer last Sunday and expressed the view that the Rinkside broadcasts were not worth continuing. The network will focus on more between-period content and other areas to draw in viewers.

Viewers complained about not being able to watch play develop and of the numerous jump cuts made from camera to camera. FSN tweaked the broadcasts in November to use fewer jump cuts and more of the traditional overhead camera view.

Said Teats, “In reality, it wasn’t receptive to viewers.”

It’s a disappointing decision to just cut off the telecasts with four remaining.  But, if there was enough negative reaction to them by fans, I guess the Ducks have no choice but to service their fanbase.  We can only hope that other teams will not be discouraged by this and keep giving experiments like this a shot in the future.

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