History Question


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Part 1: Pre-watching

Prior to watching the episodes for the week, please answer the following questions:

  • What information from this week were you already familiar with? Where did you encounter this information previously?
  • What are 2 questions you have about the content for this week based on the topic and list of the assigned episodes.

Part 2: Watching

You need a separate part 2 for every assigned episode. Please provide the following:

  • Title of the show, name of the episode, name of the director, year of release
  • A brief summary of the episode (4-6 sentences)
  • 3 themes that stood out to you. In 1-2 sentences, describe each idea.

Part 3: Reflection and Making Connections

After watching the lecture and episodes for the week, answer the following:

Fight of the Century: Remembering Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier I, 50 years later

Good morning, everybody. All right, this week is pretty light compared to previous weeks. I know you have an exam, so enjoy a little bit of reprieve here. Sports, television broadcasting is one of the most popular and most watched television broadcasted events in the United States in all of its history. The National Football League Super Bowl accounts for 21 of the most watched programs in America’s history. The last Super Bowl had a viewership of over one hundred and sixty six million people. As sports are becoming increasingly more popular, network television are starting to broadcast more sports events. Although since television first aired its first national television broadcast event, it hasn’t really changed a ton. All right. The first televised sporting event in the world occurred in 1936 when two German networks aired the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. And there you go, down here, not this, this one. Sports broadcast television in America began in the 1940s when the national broadcast company, NBC, aired a professional boxing match from Madison Square Garden. Though since television sets were still very small, broadcast viewership was supposedly only around a few hundred people in New York City. In 1949, the Emmys gave its first award for TV sports with the category of best sports coverage. Also, during this time decade, Major League Baseball aired its first television game in Chicago. This is a major significance in sports broadcasting because this game established the broadcast format that most sports use today. In the 1950’s as television technology became more advanced, sports broadcasting began airing them in color. The first televised event in color happened on August 11th, 1951 when Columbia broadcast company CBS showed in Major League Baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Brave. Another milestone in sports broadcasting happened on June 5th, 1952. This is when the first nationally televised broadcast and sporting event in America’s history. This decade also saw rises in weekly sports events such as golf, professional wrestling, Major League Baseball, boxing and rodeo circuit events. Along with events, network studios were creating weekly shows that talked about sports, and we’ll talk more about that today. The 1960s was a decade that saw a major jump in sports broadcasting popularity, along with several important milestones. Major network, networks were starting to increase its showing of more sporting events. In 1960, CBS aired its first racing event with the Daytona. Although it met with very little success due to the limited nature of the track, it was not until they made the event a 500 mile race that it was renamed its Daytona 500 and became a success. Also in 1960, the Summer Olympics first aired worldwide on CBS. In 1966, NBC aired the first televised sports championship with the National Hockey League Stanley Cup finals, which also introduced the NHL to television. In 1967, CBS and NBC aired the first NFL Super Bowl game between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. This made the first time where American society saw that a sporting event became more than that. It became a cultural event. Another important event in occurred in 1968 with the infamous Heidi Bowl. The Heidi Bowl was a football game where the broadcast was cut short to due to a scheduling conflict. With less than a minute left in the game, NBC switched its live program to the show “Heidi.” This caused a major outcry because the result, an exciting finish of the game was missed. This is when networks began to delay the following program to end with the game. Instant replay was introduced to sports in the decade and instant replay changed the game by letting broadcasters have another look at the play. It’s also allowed the audience to see what happened during the play to. This is actually one of the few events that I don’t mind watching at home rather than live, because you can see the replays and I mean, there are all kinds, especially if you’re going to watch like NFL, that little yellow line is so handy. 1970 was a bit of a boring decade in sports broadcasting history. There were only a few things to note. The first was the airing of NFL’s Monday Night Football. The other event that happened in the 70s was the airing of the boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Nicknamed the Thrilla in Manila, it was one of the most memorable sporting events ever. Also important was the fact that it was broadcasted on home box office HBO. Making television or cable television first sports broadcasting event. The last milestone of the 70s was perhaps one of the most important. It was the launch of the American Broadcasting Company, ABC’s new network, entertainment and sports programming network, ESPN. Although many critics believe that the program, completely dedicated to sports, wouldn’t work on a regular format, it became a commercial success, and we talked about that a little bit, a couple of weeks ago. In the 80s, sports viewership was rising at an all time high. A different technology was starting to change the way networks broadcast sports, and that was stereo. Stereo was changing the way people listen to the game. Stereo enhanced the broadcasting experience by allowing viewers to hear coaches, umpires, players and other sections of the venue. Watching Bobby Knight tell off a ref during a basketball game. I mean, you just can’t get anything better than that. The 1990s was when television networks were starting to pour millions of dollars into sports broadcasting. Networks were starting to air more sports commentary and events on premium channels like HBO and Showtime. The then World Wrestling Federation, now the World Wrestling Entertainment was starting to become a huge success. In the NBA, due to the Michael Jordan craze, NBC was seeing an all time high in Nielsen ratings, at its peak had a rating of 18.7. The new millennium was when people started seeing insanely lucrative deals for sporting events. In 2010, CBS signed a deal over 10 billion dollars over 14 years for the right to broadcast the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament, March Madness. All sports teams across all sports began to see large record breaking deals with TV networks. And as of today, sports broadcasting television is one of the most lucrative in the industry. At its peak, sports viewership for a sporting event is over 3 billion people, when the world tuned in for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Neither, never has sports television broadcasting been more popular than it is today. As sports leagues gained more popularity, people are now choosing to watch sporting events from the comfort of their homes, rather than pay a premium to watch sports at the stadiums. Television resolution technology has changed and expanded quite a bit over the last few years. And not only has technology changed how we watch sports, but what we are watching as well. This technology has altered how we view sports from both ends of the spectrum, the camera side and the television side. All right, although high def TV was first introduced back in the late 90s and sales were slow to pick up in the mainstream market the last few years, it’s become really, really popular. According to Nielsen, over 75 million homes now have HDTV, with about 2/3 of American homes having access to high definition quality viewing. It has attribute, has been attributed to more people spending time on the couch rather than on the stadium bleachers. My stats for this are going to be old and like 10 minutes. So just kind of go with that. As the popularity of the technology and rising cost of attending a sporting event has increased, many teams are seeing a decline in stadium attendance. If you have tried to go to like a professional baseball or a professional football game, it’s almost impossible for a working class at this point. Back in my day, right when I was in college, we could go see a Giants game for ten bucks. You can’t get a beer for ten bucks at this point in one of these stadiums. HDTV lets the audience see in more detail than ever before. High def technology incorporates more pixels per line, thus creating brighter color, crisp, crisper images and better refresh rates on the television screen. In sports broadcasting, refresh rates is extremely important part of the hardware. This piece of technology allows the audience to see objects move across the television screen more clearly, which means that the higher the refresh rate, the less blurry the object. It was only a few years ago that liquid crystal display, LCD TV, started manufacturing TVs with a refresh rate of a minimum of 120 frames per second. Entertainment and Sports Broadcasting Network is the biggest benefit from high definition sports broadcasting. In 2012, ESPN had broadcast it close to 30,000 hours worth of sporting events and sporting broadcast. ESPN has 7 U.S. cable networks, 5 of which are broadcast in high def. It’s one of the biggest, if not biggest innovators in sports broadcasting. 3-D TV, now we’re on to 4D and 5D. How many D’s are we going to have, right? There’s also a technology that has been introduced to mainstream viewers. In the 2010 World Cup, ESPN debuted the 3D technology, which let the home viewer feel like they’re on the field during the game. Since then, different sporting events have become, become, begun to use 3-D technology and some manufacturers are starting to show 3-D TV that doesn’t require the use of the special glasses that make you totally want to yak. Although 3-D TV is still fairly new in the sports broadcasting field, it’s viewed as a novelty by many. ESPN says that they’re going to actually be shutting it down pretty soon. With the technological advancements of television resolution jumping for 480 to 720, 1080, and beyond, television production has also had to change the way they broadcast their games. One of the things that has changed is the way that sports broadcasters, sports broadcast announcers and reporters have to show themselves. Because of the improved picture quality allowed by HDTV, most viewers are able to see more and more detail. The amount of makeup that sports reporters and personnel have to wear is staggering. It’s helped or hurt some athletes because they have become more recognizable out in public, especially football players. If you go and buy a new TV recently, my my beloved TV of like ten years kicked and had to go get a new one and it’s freaking me out because I don’t need to see, like Bob Costas face up, that up close. It’s creepy. Cameras, sports television broadcasting technology has drastically changed the content. Some of these cameras are nuts, change the content of what audience views during sporting events as well. A key contributor to this is found in the high definition camera. Viewers are now able to view the game through hundreds of different viewpoints around the stadium. Resolution technology has also altered the outcome of games with high resolution cameras and televisions, referees, umpires and judges from sporting events are now able to accurately make the correct call because they’re able to see the smallest detail. This is also a little frustrating because of how long games have become, right, you watch a 4 hour football game, you’ve got 6 minutes of play. Very irritating.

One of the more popular point of view camera angles, was during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, small, high def cameras were put in archery targets, which would show incoming arrows approach the bull’s eye. Engineers had to create a camera that used a special lens. Another implementation that came was the advancement of resolution technology installed during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. NBC reported that the robotic camera was installed throughout various areas, which included rafters, floodlights and scaffolding. Using this technology allows the ability to put high def cameras in areas that are otherwise inaccessible to human beings actually holding cameras or photographers. Robotic camera was helpful because it had a 360 degree swivel head that could be controlled remotely nd it gave the audience another angle to watch sports and that’s what we’re looking at here. This is a robotic camera. Television resolution technology is beginning to advance as well. With the announcement of 4K television, 5K, there are so many K’s, right? It just goes on. The landscape of broadcast television is soon beginning to change. I’m not even going to go here because it’s going to be obsolete by the time I hit save on this. But know that that television technology and things like that are rapidly, rapidly increasing.

Yeah, ESPN is all over this. They want to have, like, all of these cameras, these 4K cameras all over the place and especially in places like the Super Bow. With 4K technology being developed and fine tuned by more companies, advancement of the technology will be sure to pick up. Right. Other changes. There are some weird ones here. The future of sports television broadcasting is rapidly evolving to meet the demands of the public consumer. For some people, the size of the screen is becoming a major factor in their decision of purchasing their new television to view sports. I wanted a smaller TV in my home so I could actually see it like, I don’t want to be at the movie theater in my own living room and it was really hard for me to find a 40 inch TV, like you cannot find these things anymore, 50, 60, 70, 80 inches. It’s insane. To others, it’s about the different kind of experience, right. Different camera angles and the quality of the screen that’s important when they’re watching. For others, the most important thing is being able to watch a specific game. Regardless of the way people are watching sports, the only thing that is known is that the resolution screen technology will change sports broadcasting into something that only further enhances the viewing experience to all sports fans. We talked about 4K television already and the price of these things is decreasing so rapidly. It’s kind of like planned obsolescence, right? So you can’t buy something that’s going to last forever and ever and ever any more. And they’re making it cheaper to buy these fancier products. Mobile viewing. This is kind of the issue with all television these days. Smartphones and tablets are becoming a major player in sports broadcasting devices. New smartphones have really wonderful resolution. And it’s giving, there’s actually kind of a contract, if you will, between sporting events and, and device manufacturers. Yeah, the NFL. Right. They had a billion dollars for the right to air more NFL games over their customers smartphones. And so it was a Verizon benefit. So Verizon signed a contract to pay the NFL to do this thing. So really, really specific commercialization here.

Holographic viewing, this is holographic viewing, this is just crazy to me, one technology that seems like it’s a little futuristic, but not super far is holographic viewing. It’s still like a while away but some companies are working on developing it. One company, NHK, we talked about this already in Japan. They’re working on marketing this technology, is a very real thing and they’re looking to have it completed by the 2022 World Cup. We’ll see how COVID and things like that futzed with that. When the technology becomes accessible to the mainstream market, it will be a reinvention of the television as it’s going to completely change the way that you view sports. At that time, sorts fans can experience being at the stadium without having to leave their house. How awesome. So lots of crazy technology, things that are changing. And it’s it’s you got to wonder, like how much of this is pushed by audiences and how much is being kind of crammed down audiences. We’re entering March Madness as I am recording this and try and, I’ve cut cable. Right. So I’m using these streaming services and trying to find all the games at this point is really frustrating. If anything has ever motivated me to consider cable again, I think it is college basketball, oddly enough. Shows are easy to watch the next day. It’s not a big deal, but sporting events, right. The liveness of it continues to be really, really important. So just kind of a little bit of a reminder there. Your viewing for this week is actually going to be a selection of sports clips that I’ve put together. So it should not be like a big four hour watch fest. So enjoy the break.

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