Fans get all-access in unusual Seton Hall-St John's telecast

Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella joked just before tipoff that he was going to apologize ahead of time for any colorful language viewers heard during Fox Sports’ innovative broadcast of the Pirates’ game against St. John’s on Friday night.

With a five-second delay in place, Bozzella had nothing to worry about. He and Red Storm coach Joe Tartamella wore microphones throughout the commercial-free telecast, giving viewers an unprecedented all-access look at both teams during the game. This was believed to be the first time there was so much unfiltered access for a live sports event.

“It was everything we hoped it would be for the viewers,” Big East commissioner Val Ackerman said after the game, which Seton Hall won 64-59. “It was a riveting behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in a game. It brought the passion and the range of emotions of the coaches to the viewers.”

Fox Sports set up a dedicated feed for both coaches, allowing viewers to watch and listen to them for the entire game, including inside the locker rooms at the half. Those feeds also were used during the normal broadcast of the game.

“Overall, the game made for an amazing television experience,” said Fox Sports President, Production and Executive Producer John Entz. “Hearing the halftime speeches live and being in the middle of Seton Hall’s winning locker room after the game were as close as most of us will ever come to being Division I athletes. Looking live into team huddles during breaks, rather than going to commercial, was a new and extremely compelling way…

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