Sportscaster Brian Anderson talked about his agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers and the future of regional networks such as Bally Sports Wisconsin. He also discussed how he manages his busy travel schedule in preparation for Brewers broadcasts this weekend.
Anderson, 51 years old, has been announcing Brewers broadcasts since 2007. He will be in American Family Field's broadcast booth Saturday night, after wrapping up his busiest work period with the NBA Playoffs, which followed NCAA March Madness, and four early Brewers games. He is a nationally recognized sports announcer who loves his connection to the Brewers, and his hometown of Hartland in Waukesha county.
The Milwaukee Business Journal conducted a phone interview with him on Friday evening. He told the Milwaukee Business Journal that he just ended a phone call with Bally Sports Wisconsin's color announcer Bill Schroeder, also known as "The Rock". They chatted frequently.
Q: From the outside, your schedule might look amazing and glamorous. It's hard to travel from city to city without getting home often. How can you manage all of that?
I'm not complaining at all -- major disclaimer. Travel can be stressful. When you travel so much, you feel uneasy. You miss some things. Just noticed that my fence is off its post. For me, it's very important to keep exercising, get enough rest, eat well, and take extra precautions to ensure that you remain healthy and strong when you travel. This is the most important thing.
"I travel a lot -- I have always done so." The airplane is my favorite place to prepare (for broadcasts). You put on the noise-cancelling earphones. You get lost in the world you're in and start to create a picture or figure out what to say in your game. I enjoy the time I have to sit for two, three, four hours or whatever.
"We flew from Miami to Los Angeles -- it's about a five-hour-and-15-minute flight. So I did all the work I needed, and then some. I try to multi-task, and make the most of each place. "I've always tried to maximize my time and energy wherever I am.
Q: What is your agreement with the Brewers for this year? Does it remain the same as in last year, when you played 50 games?
"Yes, we're as close as we can be to 50." We'll make adjustments as the seasons change. It's not only my arrangement. Jeff Levering has an arrangement, and that then translates into Lane Grindle’s arrangement. Everyone has agreements and contracts. We try to get as close as possible. "So it's around 50 games."
Q: If you have a slow season, what is it? Do you ever have downtime?
"It isn't really a season but there are window. The All-Star break is a period. I will take a whole week off. I will be playing two games this coming weekend, but I will then take a full week off to spend with my family and wife. Then I'll be back with the Brewers regularly on May 22. I get two weeks off between the time I finish the baseball playoffs, and the time I start the NBA. No seasons anymore. There's no such thing as an off-season. "One leads to the other."
Q: Will you be watching the Tuesday night MLB games on TBS this year?
"Yes. Bob Costas handled the first half of the schedule. "He's done all the games since April, and I'll be doing the rest of the games between May 30 and the end."
Q: Do you also play in the MLB playoffs?
"Correct. "This year, we will have the NLCS" (National League Championship Season).
What are you hearing with all the questions surrounding the future of regional sport networks, and the bankruptcy of Bally Sports Wisconsin's owner Diamond Sports? What do you think will happen?
It's an interesting time. We are at a crossroads when it comes to how we deliver our games. We know that there will be games to play. The distribution and reach of these games is what really matters. It's not something I can control.
"We as an industry are at a crossroads. It's similar to the early days of television when there were many decisions made about whether to broadcast games on TV or radio. In the past 30 years, some owners did not want all games to be televised because they thought people would not attend the games. We've thankfully moved past that.
"There will always exist some form of the game." It's going expand. I think it will be great for the fans. I believe there will be open windows on everything from batting practices to press conferences, to games themselves and inside the booth. There may even be auxiliary broadcasts similar to what we did at the NBA All-Star Game when we had our "Inside the NBA" crew.
"I believe that they are all on the tables and we're trying to figure it out as an entire industry. Crew members are those who will be in front of the camera. We all want to have more access. These are human beings, highly-skilled individuals who understand how this works and can deliver the sights and sounds. "Those people are going to be our real heroes."
Q: In the past, you said that you would stay with the Brewers for as long as the Brewers will have you. Is this still the case?
It's a team I love, and it's a town that I live in. If I didn't have a job with the Brewers I would still be a season-ticket holder. I hope that they will stay. "I love to do it and I love being a member of it."
"The only thing else I do is NBA2K. This is not something new. It's my fourth year of doing it. Every October, we release this game. "We're actually going two weeks from now to Children's Hospital and we're going play games with kids."