The NHL is trying to establish a baseline quality for all of its telecasts. The guy in charge of this is John Shannon, the NHL’s senior vice president for broadcasting. He looks at everything from the announcers to the camera work.
It’s an interesting idea. One thing you learn watching Center Ice is the quality of hockey telecasts can vary pretty widely. Some have knowledgeable analysis and great production, while others look like they were shot by bootleggers.
One of Shannon’s pet projects is having analysts break down plays, explaining why something happened. That’s one of my pet causes, also. You can’t cultivate fans if casual viewers don’t understand the significance of what’s going on. With hockey, so much of the action is away from the puck; it’s not only a matter of getting the puck down the ice.
It all makes me wonder if eventually the NHL will want to approve all of its voices. I’m not sure it would be an awful idea.