The NBA is doing some unprecedented things when it comes to their comprehensive return-to play-plan at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
For the first time in the league’s history, the entire playoffs will happen at a single location, with 22 teams being invited to finish out the regular season by playing seeding games followed by a full postseason.
The bubble concept is meant to keep players and team personnel safe amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that shut down league operations on March 11. American sports have been at a relative standstill since then, and the NBA is doing a number of unique things to ensure it can come back soon.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that in-game broadcasts will also be unlike anything ever seen, with the lack of fans being used as a means to get creative with camera angles, player audio and halftime performances, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN:
Silver says the broadcasts will include, among other things: "Unique, never before seen camera angles, enhanced audio with players and coaches, and virtual concerts and halftime performances."
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) June 26, 2020
While some of the changes being made to the broadcast are likely to be unpopular at first, there may be positives that come out of this unique situation. Generally, fans are opposed to new camera angles, but without people in the arenas the camera use may be seen in a different way.
The enhanced audio on players and coaches will also be new, but may actually be popular among fans. Fans watching on TV have never gotten a full chance to hear what the players sound like during games, so that could provide a unique viewing experience. However, TV profanity rules may lead to the NBA being generous with the mute button.
Virtual concerts and halftime performances also sound like they will not be well received at first glance. However, the league could certainly do unprecedented things with this, getting artists they may not have been able to get otherwise, pulling in a whole new fanbase.
As unusual as this experience will be for players, it will also be completely new territory for fans as well. The NBA has spent a number of years crafting an excellence game day experience for fans in the arena and on TV, but will now have to pivot to a whole new way of broadcasting.
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