Creating a show like Match of the Day requires an incredible amount of production value.
TV cameras at all of the games, commentators calling each moment, highlights chosen, and all of that without getting to Gary’s studio.
The institution that is MOTD will forever be a part of the British psyche, such is the regard that it is held.
Sky has made an attempt to rival it with ‘The Debate’, a nightly talk show running through football’s hottest topics, just as BT Sport has attempted to rival ‘Soccer Saturday’ with ‘Score’.
However, the Sports Programme that takes the biscuit in 2017 is…
‘The NFL Show’ on the BBC
Let’s start with the presenters.
Mark Chapman has become a very complete broadcaster since his introduction to the BBC’s range of programmes. Whether on radio or TV, his calmness and insight, across a wide range of sports is very impressive. It isn’t just his commentary that is captivating either, as his humour is a common tool to fall back on when some colour is required.
Whilst there is a stark difference in their CVs – Osi’s two Superbowl Wins providing much boasting over Jason’s zero – it works in clearly outlining their roles as analysts. Osi provides the over the top hilarity that two rings justifies, whereas J-Bell finds himself the technician outlining the finer detail.
Chapman does a great job of not letting the show become too American. Even though the NFL is one of the US of A’s finest exports, it is still a British perspective on the sport. Therefore, the finer details that may already be assumed by an American audience, are spelled out in simple, but informative, segments.
In terms of actual programming, the content is provided by highlights of the games, analysis of key talking points and a breakdown of the standings of the two conferences.
American broadcasters provide the footage, commentary and production of the games, as MOTD does for itself, with the guys providing analysis after the highlights.
It was great to see the BBC backing The NFL Show by taking them out to report on the Falcons vs. Saints game in early December, in a key NFC South matchup. What turned out to be a great game, was matched by an excellent show.
Having the Tuesday show reflect on games from the week before means they are partly out of date by the time of showing. A Monday night broadcast would be much preferred.
Having only half an hour on the Saturday show means that it struggles to really get deep into previewing the upcoming games and drilling down into the League’s hot topics. Forty-five minutes to an hour would be more beneficial for the viewer
The BBC’s NFL Show has done a great job of riding the wave of the NFL’s expansion abroad. With a few tweaks, it could become a mainstay within the British sporting psyche.
We’ll be watching.