FSN North goes commercial for Timberwolves halftime

By Ken Kerschbaumer

Fox Sports North recently gave a new twist to half-time coverage of Minnesota Timberwolves games. In an effort to keep fans watching the network has gone commercial free during halftime break, delivering fans an 85/15 percent split of sports content and in-arena entertainment.

“We’re employing the same cameras and audio gear that we use during the game and pre/post game shows,” says Joseph Maar, FSN North coordinating producer. “Content wise our goal is to create memorable television that is ‘sticky’ so viewers won’t tune away.”

Trevor Fleck, FSN North producer, says halftime content for home games involves a Halftime Live show from the arena while away games make use of the FSN studio.

“The content usually includes pre-taped demonstrations by our color analyst Jim Petersen with a player or coach demonstrating something that pertains to that night’s game,” says Fleck. “After the demonstration we follow up with highlights or telestration of a play from the game.”

The rest of the content, adds Fleck, includes a feature on a player or interviews with live guests and celebrities. There is also a fan interaction segment with text-in questions from viewers, a look at the in-arena entertainment and a look ahead to the second half.

Becky Ross, FSN North communications manager, says there are single sponsor opportunities as the halftime program is squeezed back, opening up room for a sponsor logo.

“It’s a different way to approach advertisers,” she says. “Right now we are just trying to show our advertisers this new and innovative concept and the unique value it represents.”

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