ESPN’s broadcasting team takes ‘pumping up’ Pacers too far

Posted by By at 22 May, at 08 : 59 AM Print

ESPN’s broadcasting team takes ‘pumping up’ Pacers too far

In the absolute worst game of the playoffs, ESPN and its in-game announcing team of Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown spent the bulk of the game pushing a ‘David vs. Goliath’ storyline and pumping up Indiana’s success as the ‘return of the mecca of basketball’ to the national stage. Tirico even stated it himself in a statement trying to show unbiased broadcasting, “We don’t care who wins these games although most people think otherwise.”, “But we just wanted to show these Indiana fans and the resurgence of Indiana basketball (after they(fans) rejected the course of the team previously and boycotted games).” Tirico and Brown called the game as if they were paid by the Indiana Pacers. Brown was almost coaching the Pacers in every offensive possession. Examples were when he offered Tyler Hansborough coaching strategies on rebounding the ball and several scores by Miami when he personally highlighted Indiana’s defensive mistakes offering corrections.

Tirico and Brown simply chose to leave a true analysis of the game as an afterthought and gave as much of a one-sided telecast as the score. Miami played its worst game of the series and didn’t play well at all. But a true monitoring of Tirico and Brown’s telecast will show that their support of Indiana was so exaggerated that it made their approach very obvious. Any fan watching the telecast whether a Miami fan or not could probably note the biased and stilted call of the game as Tirico highlighted and singled-out plays by the Indiana players and Brown praised each correct play. The Heat have, in becoming the ‘villains’ for sports media may have become typecast by sports media. As usual, any sports media outlet will say that they only report what they see. The players make the event, not the journalists.

But sports media though is a business and sells a lot of advertising working off of ratings by viewers. Sports media, especially ESPN has been reprimanded in the past for their propensity to influence news stories (The Decision, 2010). ESPN has been suffering because of this as it turns off viewers. Its apparent that in this case, the Heat will be typecast since they are expected to do well and play well (Lebron, Wade, Big 3), sports media can play to the ‘everyone loves an underdog’ angle on TV broadcasts as they have done with the Pacers.

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