CBS Sports Network Does AFL Proud
by Randy Snow
Originally posted on ArenaFan.com, Sunday, March 24, 2013
The first ever broadcast of the Arena Football League on CBS Sports Network on Saturday night (March 23) was, in my opinion, a huge success. I was a little skeptical of how CBSSN would cover AFL games on their broadcasts this season, but by the end of halftime, my fears had been put to rest.
For the past three years, AFL games had been broadcast on the NFL Network on Friday nights. At the time, I thought that was a perfect arrangement, having the popularity and the media presence of the NFL promoting the AFL. But the broadcasts were sometimes hard to watch. There were way too many reports from the sidelines and talking to the coaches as they were calling plays was a bit annoying.
What I liked about the CBSSN broadcast was the fact that they didnít get in the way of the game. It was the action on the field between the Philadelphia Soul and the host Arizona Rattlers that was the center of attention, and thatís the way it should be. (Arizona beat Philly 66-52)
Having attended many AFL games over the years, the CBSSN broadcast had the feel of actually being at the game. It was also nice to be able to ďeavesdropĒ on some of the conversations between the coach and the quarterback on the sidelines and to hear the quarterback speaking to the rest of the team in the huddle.
The combination of Ari Wolfe and Anthony Herron in the booth and Sherdrick Bonner reporting from the sidelines made for an entertaining broadcast. Each one had spent time working on NFL Network broadcasts and they all have a long history with the league.
I was especially pleased with the way CBSSN handled halftime. They actually stayed at the game! There was an interview with AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz and talk about the two teamís performances in the first half. The NFL Network would switch back to their network studio and never mention the AFL until it was time to go back to the game.
As a longtime fan of the Arena Football League, I appreciate the respect that CBSSN had for the game on the field. AFL fans will find that this seasonís games will be much more enjoyable to watch, even if their team is not playing. I am looking forward to spending my Saturday nights watching AFL games on the CBS Sports Network.
Where to find CBS Sports Network
CBS Sports Network is available on satellite providers United States - DIRECTV (channel 613), Dish Network (Channel 158); Canada - Bell TV (Channel 413 (SD), 1432 (HD)); Check your local providers to see if CBS Sports Network is available in your area.
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Randy Snow covered the Grand Rapids Rampage of the Arena Football League for ArenaFan from 2003-2008. He also covered the Fort Wayne Fusion of arenafootball2 in 2007. He currently runs a web site called www.theworldoffootball.com and is the coordinator of Operation Gridiron Airlift, which has sent over 500 footballs to U.S. troops serving overseas since 2008. Randy lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.