Fox Sports South will broadcast its first Atlanta United game on Saturday when the team plays at Toronto. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
Nineteen of Atlanta United’s 34 regular-season games will be broadcast on either Fox Sports South or Fox Sports Southeast. Fox Sports Southeast also broadcasts the weekly show “Atlanta United: Match Week” on Tuesdays. It will re-air today at 1 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The re-airs will appear on Fox Sports Southeast.
Fox Sports South Senior Vice President Jeff Genthner took a few minutes on Thursday to discuss his expectations for Saturday’s broadcast and what viewers can expect.
Questions and answers have been paraphrased for clarity and brevity.
Q: What are your expectations for this broadcast?
A: With every broadcast, we want to have excellent technical coverage of the game. The best way to describe it is to look at it in two buckets: the game and all of the content of the game.
The camera angels are down, pictures good and broadcasters who are informative and tell the story of the game — that is our core business. The sights, sounds, information to soccer fans has got to be spot on, accurate and compelling.
Second to that are the Atlanta United live pregame and postgame shows. The pregame shows are always interesting because nothing has occurred yet. We want to be entertaining and informative. What we have on the docket this Saturday is a feature on (Gerardo) Tata Martino and how he has brought instant credibility to the team with an aggressive style of play. We will also have several player features.
And we will introduce viewers to the new broadcast team of Kevin Egan, Dan Gargan and Brittany Arnold.
Postgame will be heavy on highlights, postgame interviews and as much locker room access as we can get to capture outcome of the event.
Q: Has the trio practiced together by watching and calling previously played games?
A: To my knowledge I don’t think this trio has ever worked together before. It’s a great question because you want to hire people of individual skills and accomplishments. You never know the chemistry until you get them together.
Q: Have you gotten a sense of their chemistry from production meetings?
A: We’ve had production meetings. We’ve broken down the philosophy of how we want to flow back and forth from Kevin and Dan, and Brittany’s role.
But until you are calling a live event you can only have a philosophy. What’s called will be dictated by the emotion of the game.
Q: What is the biggest expected difference between broadcasting soccer and football?
A: I think we approach every event with a similar approach. The event that occurs isn’t under our control. Our job is to roll in a TV truck and capture pictures and bring in the most qualified announcers, producers and directors we can and capture the event with excellent visuals and excellent sounds.
That’s how we approach the more than 700 events we produce out of our Atlanta offices.
Our job is to capture it.
The other thing for us is to really be creative in the pregame and postgame (shows).
They are different sports but we go into it with the same mentality.
What I want to make sure that doesn’t get lost is a lot of people were curious why Atlanta United ended up on Fox Sports South.
The beauty of being on network is it’s going to be on Fox Sports South, the same brand, same position across 5 ½ states. That means the promotion of Atlanta United will be on the Braves games in Atlanta, Hawks games in Atlanta, Grizzlies games in Memphis and Hurricanes games in Raleigh. It will be getting strong cross-promotion. Consumers won’t have to hunt and peck for it where they live.
The other beauty if you can watch it on Fox Sports Go.
The ease for the consumer to understand where it is on Fox Sports South, it’s on an app no matter where you live, the high cross-promotion no matter where you live is very advantageous for the team and beneficial for the fans.
Particularly for the first year of a franchise, you have to make a big first impression.
Q: Will there be any interesting uses of technology that people may not expect or not have seen before?
A: We have used super slow mo, super high-speed slow mo in baseball and NFL coverage. We will introduce that during the season.
With a new announcing crew and production crew, we want to make sure we deliver the core product at a high level.
We will add the perks later in the season. We will probably introduce more advanced technology for home games when it’s our truck.