in Sports, TV

Why the NFL Won’t Show You Everything

Jason Kottke links to a Wall Street Journal article that talks about why the NFL won’t allow TV broadcasts of their games to show a tv angle known as the “All 22” – a view that’s zoomed out and shows all the players on the field so you can see what’s going on and where & why players are where they are on a given play.

By distributing this footage only to NFL teams, and rationing it out carefully to its TV partners and on its web site, the NFL has created a paradox. The most-watched sport in the U.S. is also arguably the least understood. “I don’t think you can get a full understanding without watching the entirety of the game,” says former head coach Bill Parcells. The zoomed-in footage on TV broadcasts, he says, only shows a “fragment” of what happens on the field.

I assume the CFL does something like this as well – though I’m sure they’re not as militant about it as the NFL would be because I can certainly recall more full field views on a CFL game.

I think this is one of the reasons why hockey1 appeals to a certain type of person. You can see what’s going on in the whole field of play, minus the goalie at the other end of the ice. By being given the opportunity to see the whole play, you can appreciate the aspects of the game that someone like the NFL doesn’t want to release for fear that someone might figure out a secret.


  1. And I suppose basketball and many, many other sports that I don’t care to list here.