Ready For TV Yet?

This year had a really exciting game in my eyes. Since we web cast the GTR I was wondering if, without all of the delays in a regular regional, people could see FIRST being shown on TV? There have been times that this was discussed in the past but did this years game bring us closer to the big day of FIRST on Prime Time TV?

i think discover chanel would be the best place.


The only problem I see with having regionals aired on TV is that it’s 3 days long. But I think AIM HIGH would of been great to try and make into maybe a 3 hour show showing the best matches and the quarter finals and such and have it be shown at a later date.

Discovery fits, but I’d really like to see it on ABC, FOX, or one of the other huge networks. If the GDC pulls off a simple, (to understand) fast-paced game with lots of strategies, scoring, defense and so on it (IMHO) would get a good number of viewers. (At least more than that American Inventor show)

Its kewl to watch, but thats me speaking… From random people they might just think of it as another stupid sport in th world like bball.(one of my best frined’s attitudes)


I agree, the Discovery Channel needs to cover the event, all three days of it.
They could make it a special! :cool:

I would like to see a channel follow one or two teams through a season, reality TV style (TLC, perhaps?). The show would air weekly and would document the trials and tribulations the teams experience in their quest to build a robot. Funding issues, unexpected failures, and tense design meetings; these things make for great television. The regionals attended would be filmed and summarized (perhaps a special two hour program would be aired, with highlights, matches, and images of pitcrews etc…). This would all lead up to limited or full coverage of nationals; they could make it a two-day special event, and invite speakers to speak in interim periods or low action times (Dean Kamen, national WFA winners, Dave Lavery, Woody, etc…).

I think that the weekly show for 6 weeks will help establish a viewing base that will attract people to the “big event”- this will increase viewership and perhaps make it even moderately worth while for the station.

Discovery or TLC are probably our best bets.

From someone who works in the TV Industry I can tell you right now, you will not see FIRST Nationals in prime time broadcast television anytime soon. The event does not have a wide enough appeal as of yet. I can see Discovery doing a 1 hour on the event, but never covering the whole competition. Even when ESPN covered the event, it was not every match, they covered just a select few.

Remember this thread from last week?

It raises some issues that seem rather relevant to this poll…

You are absolutly right, It would be far more likly for you to see a special that would take a couple of teams that make it to einstein and show you how they got there. They could end the show with the finals match. To follow the team through build season you would need a series not just a special, a series would be very simmilar to American chopper (has any one else ever thought that shop would be the best workspace ever) and would likly present both the robot problems and the people problems, while this would be fun it is a long way away. For now just keep watching the clips that make it on other shows.

This is what I want to see. The weekly reality TV show style is perfect for FIRST. They can film the entire season and air it all afterwards, leaving them plenty of time to edit and figure out what’s interesting to show. I think they would be able to get a decent audience on a channel like Discovery.

Its possible… just be aware that you will never see it on Network (as you said, Discovery is a good bet)… and I am worried about what a TV producer could do to FIRST’s image…

This is harsh, but for FIRST to work on a major network television channel, it has to be showing good teams. Nobody wants to see matches where the score is 30-0. They want to see matches like Finals match 2 on Einstein, where it’s action packed, and high scoring.

This pretty much precludes any chance of broadcasting an entire regional, or even nationals. There’s too many mundane matches mixed in with the exciting ones.

The best way I can think of for this to happen is American Chopper style, as suggested before. They’d need to follow a team like Beatty, Wildstang, etc. A proven powerhouse, that will make a good robot and have exciting matches.

They could show the design and build process, and then an overview of the highlights from each team’s regionals, and matches from nationals. Full matches might prove to be too long for a TV audience, unless they’re extremely exciting.

Can they be televised successfully? I think it depends. The main requirement is that the game has to be elevator-friendly, in that I can explain it to someone on the elevators of the Moore School of Business on the way to class. (And those elevators move fast, goodness!)

I could definitely see the finals of a regional (especially the stronger ones) televised on one of the broadcast stations in town. And something like the Einstein finals would easily qualify as something for Wide World of Sports, even on a tape delay. (Sure, it’s more exciting live–but the finals start relatively late for the east coast for such things.)

So my answer is yes, they could–but the game needs to be a top-notch one, on par with FIRST Frenzy and Aim High.

I really don’t see FIRST ever being shown on live TV - there’s too much down time, and too many matches that people probably won’t want to see.

I see FIRST television taking the same approach that Poker has taken on TV: film the entire event, edit it to show the good stuff with a few human interest points thrown in, and air it at a later date.

Most of the TV announcers describe Texax Hold’em as hours of boredom with a few minutes of terror thrown in. No one is going to watch the hours of boredom just for the minutes of terror - therefore they tape and edit.

I’m not saying that FIRST contains consecutive hours of boredom, but out of a typical 8 hour day full of matches, 5-6 hours of it is down time. In addition, some of the matches just aren’t that interesting. Besides that, I don’t think that there’s anything in the world that is interesting enough for people to sit and watch for 8 hours in one block - people have things to do.

I bet that you can take an entire regional and edit it into about 1 - 1.5 hours of exciting television. If FIRST becomes popular enough, the show could air on Sunday - the day after the event. I don’t ever see FIRST going live for an entire event - MAYBE the final 4 at the Championship, but that’s it.

Discovery channel viewers would eat this up! Almost all of my friends (including me :cool: ) watch the discovery channel. The best time to put it on would be right before or after mythbusters.

That’d make my year if I saw FIRST on the discovery channel. :smiley: :smiley:


To the narrow question re: Aim High vs. previous games, I’d give the GDC high marks for the video appeal of well-played matches in this year’s game.

More broadly I have to concur with Cory (earlier in this thread) that FIRST would be a victim of fast fingers on many a TV remote, except when either American Chopper style back-stories or really exciting matches like Einstein F2 are on the screen.

It’s kind of a Catch-22: a TV show about a competition that aims to change the culture will not be popular until the culture has been changed.

Probably would be 2 weeks to a month afterwards, because the editing would take that long. You are talking about human interest stories, team interaction, as well as the robot competition and such. However, in this format (texas holdum style or documentary style), it could be packaged properly for Discovery Channel, TLC, or other ‘high tech audience’ channels.

I posted this several days ago to a different thread … Discovery Channel is located near Washington DC and it looks as though their executive staff may be open to suggestions for new shows. It may be worth a write-in campaign. Here’s the info:

One Discovery Place
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel: 240-662-2000

John Hendricks, Founder and Chairman
Judith McHale, President and CEO
Donald A. Baer, Senior executive VP, Strategy and Development
William M. Campbell III, President Discovery Networks, US
Dawn L. McCall, President Discovery Networks International

One more chime in the chorus for a Discovery-type story (vs an ESPN-type sport show):

I feel a Discovery Channel-esque show could cover the awards far better than a sports-oriented production would. I’d be concerned about CA, EI, etc. not getting any coverage if the focus was the robot competition.