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Lions Preseason Games to Be Broadcast in HD


One of my biggest complaints about the coverage of Lions preseason games last year was the fact that they weren't in HD.  I never had an issue with this before, but right before the preseason began I bought my first HDTV and was excited to watch the Lions with it.  Well, I did get to watch Detroit; it's just that the picture didn't look very good since none of the games were in HD.  Thankfully that is changing this year (as you can see from the picture above) because of a partnership between ABC Warehouse and CBS Detroit, meaning all four preseason games will be shown in high-definition.

Aside from the addition of HD, the only other real big change is that Rob Rubick will be the color commentator, joining play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard in the booth.  Desmond Howard had been the color commentator the last couple of seasons, with Charlie Sanders adding his opinion from the field every now and then. 

I didn't have a big issue with the commentary last year, but Rubick is a former Lions tight end (he was a twelfth-round pick out of Grand Valley State in 1982) who has TV experience from his time as an in-studio analyst for FSN Detroit and announcing experience from his time as a radio color commentator for Eastern Michigan football.  Desmond had been on ESPN as an analyst, but he had never been an announcer (as far as I know) before his Lions gig and it sort of showed.  This is nowhere near the awesomeness of having a team of Gus Johnson, who is rumored to be the new Madden announcer, and Desmond Howard like a couple years ago, but I'll take it.

All four games will have a pregame show featuring Steve Courtney and Charlie Sanders that starts a half hour before kickoff.  The home games are subject to blackout, which is an even dumber rule in the preseason.  Luckily the first two preseason games are on the road, so they will be broadcast live.  With HD now being part of the broadcast, really the only change I would make is that all games are shown live regardless of whether they're sold out or not (it's the preseason, after all).  Actually, the one other thing I would change is to make sure the camera operators are competent.  The last couple years there has been an issue with the cameras being zoomed in way too much or not being able to follow the action (think of trying to watch a hockey game on Versus), which is extremely annoying.  If that problem is taken care of, it sounds like the CBS Detroit broadcast of Lions preseason games will be quite good.

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