Coors Field is playing host to an electric Home Run Derby on Monday night as Major League Baseball’s top sluggers put on a stunning show filled with plenty of long balls.
However, not everyone was thrilled with the broadcast of the event.
ESPN, who held the broadcast rights for this year’s Home Run Derby, opted to implement a split-screen format, which many viewers found confusing. The left side of the screen permanently showed the batter, while the right side frantically tried to catch up to where each ball landed. The latter often lagged behind, while each player continued to swing, which led to a lot of activity on the screen at one time.
The broadcast also had a ticker above the split-screen, which added even more chaos to the event. Although all eight competitors showed off impressive power throughout the derby, the distance of each home run was often lost amidst the clutter.
“I’m totally confused by how ESPN is presenting this. The camera angles (especially for Mancini and Olson) make it tough to follow and distance numbers are an afterthought,” Oakland A’s beat reporter for The Athletic Steve Berman wrote.
I’m totally confused by how ESPN is presenting this. The camera angles (especially for Mancini and Olson) make it tough to follow and distance numbers are an afterthought. https://t.co/ZojDjwwBM1
— Steve Berman (@BASportsGuy) July 13, 2021
Berman wasn’t alone in his confusion. Numerous baseball fans watching weren’t happy with the television product and took to Twitter to express their frustration with ESPN.
I get what ESPN is trying to do here with this joint camera angle but I sort of miss the rapid back and forth between the ball and the batter
— Tommy Smokes (@TomScibelli) July 13, 2021
First home run of the night and ESPN doesn’t even show it on camera, classic
— Eli Canfield (@CanfieldEli) July 13, 2021
These graphics and camera work from ESPN is awful so far.
— Jack McGuire (@JackMacCFB) July 13, 2021
What is this camera work by ESPN to start the Home Run Derby??? pic.twitter.com/CbiMmKFWJO
— Matt Bufano (@MattBufano) July 13, 2021
Watching this horrible camera work at the home run derby pic.twitter.com/hzZJOc43md
— jeff messantonio (@jmess78) July 13, 2021
The changes that ESPN made to the Home Run Derby certainly seemed to clutter the broadcast, but the action at Coors Field made up for the confusion. The first round of the event brought record numbers of home-runs as the altitude in Denver helped carried baseball after baseball into the outfield seats.
Tune-in to ESPN to catch the rest of the Home Run Derby and see which player walks away with the trophy.