Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Not too long ago, Scribe received a heads up about a new show on Versus that debuts tonight called FANARCHY. Now, before some of you start complaining about being unable to find the channel on your cable guide (if you can find those obscure HD channels in the 700s, you can find Versus), pay attention to the show info (sourced from its website) and clip below:

"FARNARCHY" is the fast-paced, loud-mouthed and interactive sports talk (or argument) show that delivers real fans via their webcams and lets them battle it out in a fun and frenzied back and forth. Communicating with the viewer (and each other) from their home fanbases, these sports nuts will take the voice of the fan from the web and blast it onto your TV screens.

Each week the webcammers will stake out hard-core opinions (not necessarily expert, but always entertaining) and do battle. EVERY sports fan has an opinion, and on this show they'll get an opportunity to share it. Instead of the tired old formula of sports-writers and generic TV talking heads spewing endless stats, calculating salary cap numbers and reading from steroids subpoenas, these sports fans are rabid, ready to do battle and unrelenting in their opinions. There's also going to be a featured guest celebrity (pro athlete, rapper, rockstar, actor, politician, etc…) who will join the Fan-archy each week and give their own gold-plated sports opinion. (Nobody is above the fray, but some people do have fancier webcams)

This show is an experiment in sportsworld Social Darwinism, and each week two of the webcammers will get bounced from our virtual sports bar, leaving open two spots for fans who have been watching and shouting at their flat screens. That's right, two real fans watching from home can upload their own rants on versus.com and get picked to join the fracas. They'll stay on the show for as long as their opinions and antics keep them there.

The voice of the fan, for some reason, always takes the tone of a crazed, blunt* and irrational sports nut, doesn’t it?

Certainly, this show has an audience and though the reserved and even-keeled tone this blog takes differs greatly from the sounds on the program, some of these fans have the potential to be quite funny in their lunacy.

While this isn’t the kind of show that might fit the Scribe mold, it’s an intriguing concept that continues to evolve with the times. We’ve gone from letters to the editor and heckling at the game to talking (and screaming) on sports radio to obliterating computer keys due to message boards, chat rooms and social networks… all while still heckling at the game. The natural next step would be to actually integrate these unfiltered and unmediated sounds into the games themselves, right?

It’s already been done courtesy of SKY Sports Fanzone.

Fanzone is a programming concept that allows fans of opposing teams to add live commentary, smack talk and complete insanity to a game broadcast. Soccer/football brings out some of the most ardent (read: rabid and certifiable) supporters anywhere in the world and the show has been a tremendous success because of the built-in passions of the Premier League fans.

Eventually, someone here in the States – most likely a channel such as Versus that takes risks and could use the attention – will roll the dice and try to bring the Fanzone concept into a live game. It may be shooting for the stars here, but FANarchy could be that litmus test for the Comcast-owned outlet. Even if that’s not the case, don’t be surprised if every fan’s dream comes true; the chance to permanently mute the announcers by replacing them with a more favorable voice.

* - Something learned over the years: there’s a difference between being blunt and being honest. Think about it.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Sky does that for the Super Bowl, too. In some ways it's an improvement over the worst announcers (e.g., Tim McCarver, to bring an example from baseball). But I like to hear intelligent commentary on plays and I like to know about substitutions and line calls and the like. The fans just usually aren't all that knowledgeable beyond the surface. I think it depends on the sport, and soccer's one where I can see it working in Europe - with a passionate fanbase.