By Ray Hamill — North Coast football fans are being offered an alternative to the traditional network commentaries for NFL games this season, and it might just be the start of a whole new era for broadcasting.
Hot Mic is a new app being launched by former Redwood News weekend sports anchor Colin Resch, offering fans the opportunity to listen to alternative commentaries for their favorite teams, while still watching the same television footage.
On the North Coast, longtime local commentator J.B. Mathers has been calling games for the new app and is looking for feedback from the local community.
“Colin knew my fall was suddenly free with no HSU football this year, and he reached out to me,” Mathers said. “I definitely think there’s a huge void that these guys can fill.”
Mathers, who calls the action along with former HSU Assistant Athletic Director Andrew Goetz, will call every 49ers game this season, along with several national primetime games, including Thursday night’s game between the Rams and Seahawks.
He admits it’s all still a work in progress in regard to exactly the style of broadcast they’ll be offering, which is why he is looking for feedback, which fans can give through the app.
The commentary will be from the 49ers’ perspective, but no subject will be off limits, including betting trends and how the lines might be affected late in games, something the network commentators rarely discuss.
As Mathers describes it, it’s commentary with a little pizzaz and there are no restrictions on calling out players or teams.
“I’d love to hear from people,” Mathers said. “They can check it out and let us know what they think.
“I’d really appreciate feedback, so I can do my part and give people what they want.”
Other commentary options for 49er games are also being offered through Hot Mic.
And Mathers believes this is only the beginning.
For now the app is available exclusively through the Apple App Store, under Hot Mic, and can be downloaded through invite only, which fans can access by using the invitation code JB23.
Hot Mic, which will officially launch in the coming weeks, is limited to weekly 49ers and Bears games this season, as well as national broadcasts, but will be expanding to include every NFL team next year, as well as golf and the NBA.
Former local Times-Standard sports editor Brad Botkin is lined up to call NBA games for Hot Mic.