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12/21/2003

Radio Sports Commentaries

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  Here's what is probably a common experience for those who listen to broadcasts of sports events on the radio. You are happily listening to the commentary, when it is rudely interrupted by someone in the studio turning off the commentary and giving score updates from other matches. Now this is fine if you want to know those other scores, but it can be very irritating if you are concentrating on the match being broadcast.
  Television solves this problem by visually displaying the score updates in print at the bottom of the screen. The viewer can choose to continue to watch and listen to the game being televised, or choose to read the score updates.
  The challenge for radio is this. We need to invent a way of broadcasting the updates from other matches without disturbing the main commentary for those who wish to continue to listen to it. In effect we need to broadcast two conversations at once in such a way that listeners can easily understand whichever one they choose to listen to. If the score updates were given in a quiet and very different voice to the main commentary (eg by using a voice of the opposite sex) would that work? Perhaps the studio could use special computer programs to modify the sound of the sports updates so they would be maximally different to the voice of the main commentary. Or maybe there is some other solution to this problem.
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