Samson: Access to in-game conversations will be the new look for broadcasts in the pandemic sports era

On Sunday, Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson took on Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning in The Match: Champions for Charity. Manning and Woods walked away with the win, and the event raised $20 million for Covid-19 relief efforts.

David Samson sits down on his podcast “Nothing Personal with David Samson” to discuss what he saw from the match and why he believes the broadcasting style is a sign of things to come for sports during a pandemic.

“The takeaway from The Match: Part II is that we are now in a position that without fans the networks and the athletes have to make an adjustment. It’s a game of adjustments,” Samson says.

Samson goes on to explain what he saw differently saying, “An adjustment was made where access is the name of the game, and when you get to hear what athletes are saying.” Samson loved being able to hear the trash talk and thinks that added to the viewing experience.

We’ve seen players mic’d up before, but the access is usually limited.

“One of the things that players talk about all the time is their unwillingness to be microphones, they’re worried, they’re embarrassed, what are they gonna say, what’s it gonna look like,” the podcast host said. “So now what is happening is, there is an opportunity to teach these players that access is how you will be able to monetize. So what’s gonna happen very simply, is that [the players] are going to have to get used to being mic’d.”

Samson sees this as a positive, “I think it’s gonna be a thing, and a good thing,” he said.

He liked many elements of the event, “I liked the match, I liked the access, I liked the back and forth, I liked Charles Barkley,” he says, but adds he wasn’t thrilled with one element. 

“What I didn’t like all of the people who take such pleasure in the failure of others,” he said.

Samson says, “What’s interesting to me is that people were so excited to get so down on Tom Brady. ‘Hey, I guess he’s more like me.’ ‘Hey I guess it’s good to know he’s not great at everything’ …  I never understood that. Why not strive to be better instead of hoping people are worse so you can be just like them. I just never followed that train of thought.”

Overall the “Nothing Personal” host enjoyed watching the tennis and NFL greats facing off, especially with how close fans felt to the action, even at home.

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