Well, after five years PoolDawg finally has itself a brand new commercial. We felt the old one had run its course, so we decided to put together something new and a little different. So for those of you who can’t wait until November 15th to see it (when it will officially air on ESPN for the Pacific Coast Classic). We actually shot a few different versions of this, so I’ll upload them sometime soon.
As you probably know, PoolDawg is a sponsor of the WPBA. As a sponsor, we get to see a little bit of a sneak peek of how the San Diego Classic is going to look. From what I’ve seen, I’m just as giddy as a schoolgirl… err… well maybe not a schoolgirl, but quite happy nonetheless.
It seems that the folks over at the WPBA and ESPN have decided to start experimenting with how they shoot billiards programming to make it more interesting and “user friendly” for the casual viewer. From what I could see, there are two new features that will be debuted at the Classic.
The coolest new feature they have is the new “cue view” which Ewa and Mitch use to talkabout how the players are going to hit the cue ball in order to get from Point A to Point B. For my money, this has a huge potential impact for the casual viewer. If you don’t know much about the game, it can be really hard to understand how the pros control the cue ball. This new feature should really open the eyes of the casual fan.
The other big change is the rack and ball counter. Matches will now have a persistant score “bug” at the top of the screen, telling the viewer the score of the match, what ball the shooter is on, how many balls each player has potted for the rack and what rack they’re currently on.
These probably aren’t the “magic bullet” that the peek cam and the odds trackers were for poker, but they are a huge step in the right direction. The only way to fix pool on TV (and yes, it is in need of an overhaul) is to try different things out and I applaud both the WPBA and ESPN for taking that step and trying some new stuff out.
As sponsors, we got to see an advance copy of the San Diego Classic which will be airing on ESPN June 28th and there’s some very cool new stuff that should help casual viewers get a better understanding of the game.
The two biggest changes to the programming are an “English Cam” that shows you where the player is hitting the cue ball and a new ball tracker in the scoring bug. The ball tracker keeps track of what ball the player is currently on, who sank which balls and the balls that were potted on the break. The English viewer shows you exactly where the player is hitting the cue ball in order to move the ball.
For the experienced player, these are not terribly important, but for the casual viewer, these two tools will give the viewer some great new insights into the game. In the case of the English cam, it will give Mitch and Ewa a means to describe exactly how the shots are being made and how players are able to control the ball.
This is a hugely important first step in making pool a game that casual viewers can grasp. They aren’t as revolutionary as the poker “peek cam”, but they do represent a nice evolution in the way pool is broadcast on TV.
For the fourth consecutive year, PoolDawg is proud to announce its support and official sponsorship of the BCA’s annual 9 Ball Championships. The GenerationPool 9 Ball Championships (formally EnjoyPool.com) will be held at the 2008 BCA Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the Semifinals on June 11th and the Finals on June 12th. ESPN has announced that they will be adding an additional 2 hours of coverage, so anyone not able to attend the event will be treated to a total of 6 hours of coverage of the event on ESPN and ESPN2.
“As one of the most prestigious events in the billiards industry, PoolDawg is once again proud to provide its support to the BCA, pool players and the new GenerationPool.com billiards portal” said Mike Feiman, PoolDawg’s Director of Marketing. “We are looking forward to seeing some of the innovative changes that the BCA and ESPN have planned for this event.”
PoolDawg will once again serve as the closed captioning sponsor of this event who’s storied past has solidified the legacies of players including Allison Fisher, Karen Corr and Johhny Archer as well as launched the careers of young stars like Jasmin Ouschan and Shane Van Boening.