April 29, 2004

We are an instant gratification society.: New programming allows for 3-hour baseball games to be condensed to an 8-minute highlight clip. ESPN video editors are collecting money for a bounty as we speak.
NY Times link, reg. req'd. move along.

posted by lilnemo to culture at 03:17 PM - 7 comments

I'm surprised someone didn't come up with this technology earlier. Camera angles and play combinations are finite and predictable. There's no reason to not do this, aside from actually wanting the Complete Sporting Event Experience (which isn't going away, I hope). Anyway, for example. You could train the software to listen for the referee's whistle, and then you could watch every single play of an NFL game over your coffee break. I have no doubt something like this is being used by the teams themselves (and all the postgame broadcast aqnalysts) already. I see, in the future, a one-hour show, on ESPN or maybe a pay channel, where they show a half-dozen games in their entirety, say, late Sunday night. Or the entire weekend schedule in the time it used to take to show just one game. You know that'd be an easy sell to many people. Yes, we have the collective attention span of a coked-up hummingbird. The world is speeding up with us.

posted by chicobangs at 03:44 PM on April 29

i've seen summarized games on UK tv (other people who are actually from the UK and actually have TVs could probably provide more details here) wherein a football match will be distilled down into about 15 minutes. They'll show the "whole thing" complete with the contextual commentary and remove all the uninteresting parts. it is a pretty good way to get the idea of a match without having to watch the whole thing. you get a better idea than what you get from just 30 seconds of highlights for sure.

posted by gspm at 04:25 PM on April 29

"In the case of some sports - kickboxing and basketball in particular - no obvious answer emerged." Oh my God, no kickboxing highlights?! Whatever shall I do?

posted by molafson at 04:50 PM on April 29

Personally one of my happiest thoughts is that when TIVO destroys the current TV business model it will get rid of the commercial breaks in sports. There is no reason for a baseball game to take 3 hours, no reason for a basketball game to take 2.5 hours, and no reason for a football game to take 3 hours. Here's hoping that TIVO will kill commercials (even if it means I have to pay an extra $50 month).

posted by Mike McD at 10:18 PM on April 29

MLB.com has been offering the same service for a year or two now.

posted by hootch at 02:20 PM on April 30

FSW has Aussie Rules (I think also Rugby from Oz and NZ) in this format but gets the games down to 90 minutes incuding breaks and highlights, not one hour or less. My buddy has a TiVo-like system from MS/DirecTV and uses this fast forward from end of play to start of play thng with a 30 second skip button. Drives me nuts but he loves it.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:19 PM on April 30

OK - call me old-fashioned, but this trend of making everything shorter and more easily consumed is appaling. And its bullshit - things don't need to be shorter. Just look at Porn - which seems to be getting longer. No value in it unless there's 4 hours of it, apparently. And that industry isn't suffering. And I bet the target demographic is pretty similar. If you can't sit through a 3 hour baseball game and still consider yourself a fan, and therefore a good target for this, please punch yourself in the nuts until sterile. How many engineers were needed for this? For comparisons sake, it took 4 engineers to design the Mach 3 shaver. Pardon me - Facial Growth Removal System.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:21 AM on May 01

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