Steele: TNT broadcast will be 'Gator-centric'
Published: Friday, April 4, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7:13 p.m.
ARLINGTON, Texas — David Steele was sitting in a hotel room in Salt Lake City watching Florida’s basketball team play back in Orlando. Little did he know how close he was to broadcasting at the Final Four.
“It was the farthest thing from my mind,” Steele said. “It’s been a long year for the Magic, and I was thinking about what to do with my family this summer.”
Instead, he will be courtside Saturday evening calling the Florida-UConn game live on TNT. It’s part of a new “teamcast” concept for Turner and CBS to have a home-team announcing crew broadcast the Final Four games.
Steele will be joined by Gator Network analyst Mark Wise on the broadcast. Wise is in Arlington, but Steele won’t be in North Texas until game day. Because he is the regular voice of the Orlando Magic, Steele will be in Charlotte broadcasting the NBA game.
“They are allowing me to miss the game Saturday,” he said.
Steele was the voice of the Gators on radio from 1982-89 before moving to the Magic. He also did the TV re-broadcasts for “Breakfast With The Gators” until UF went to the radio feeds two years ago.
He said he had no idea that there was a plan to do these alternate broadcasts until he received a call Sunday afternoon.
“It was the first I had heard of it,” Steele said. “I get the call and everything turns upside down. But in a good way. My wife is going to come out and we’re going to stay and watch the championship game Monday if Florida wins.”
Steele is used to doing “team broadcasts,” estimating that he has been doing that at Western Carolina, Florida and Orlando for 95 percent of his career. Wise has built a career that includes analyzing college games on TV for different networks. He did 22 this year for ESPN, Sun Sports and Fox Sports South.
“At the end of the day, I’m not a TV guy,” Wise said. “I’m an old coach. I’d like to think when I do a game on TV, I see it as both coaches do. When I do a Florida game on radio, I try to see it as Billy Donovan sees it.
“In this teamcast concept, I’m going to bring the radio mentality to the broadcast.”
Unlike Steele, Wise was aware of the plan to do the teamcasts, “but a lot of stars had to align, including them getting here.”
Steele said Gator fans who choose to watch the TNT broadcast will not only hear different announcers but also see a different broadcast.
“I’ve talked to the producer and it’s going to be very Gator-centric,” Steele said. “There will be a lot of videos of Gator history and Gators in the NBA. It’s going to be a first-rate production.”