September 12, 2012
The Score comments on Raw Lawler broadcast
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
After a night where RAW became more real than it has been in years, analysts and pundits began to dissect how everything was handled with the broadcast while Jerry Lawler's medical emergency was being tended to.
Viewers of RAW on Monday were given updates by Lawler's broadcast partner, Michael Cole, however the audience in Montreal at the Bell Centre was not. By the end of the show, viewers knew that Lawler had collapsed at ringside and had been taken to a Montreal hospital, where he had been responsive. It was eventually learned that Lawler suffered a heart attack.
As of this writing, he has had a stent put into an artery and remains in the cardiac care unit. Lawler's girlfriend, Lauryn Laine McBride, and son, Brian Christopher, have been keeping friends, family and fans updated.
For its part, The Score, Canada's broadcaster of all WWE programming, including RAW, responded openly to questions about the content it showed north of the 49th.
Since RAW runs an hour later than the U.S. version of the show, from 9 p.m.-midnight ET, there was a chance for The Score to adjust the broadcast if it so chose, and add some updates for viewers on Lawler's condition in real-time.
In an interview Tuesday, a spokesman for The Score talked about the nature of the main broadcast of Raw, explaining that the footage they aired came the WWE.
"The Score takes its feed directly from the WWE for each episode of RAW which means our team is unable to edit the onscreen broadcast," the spokesperson told SLAM! Wrestling.
That's not to say that updates fell by the wayside, though.
"What we were able to do was share any information on Jerry’s condition as and when it was made available to us by the WWE. The Score’s Arda Ocal was at RAW and was sharing updates with fans in real time via his Twitter feed and a blog post was also uploaded to theScore.com moments after the incident, again providing real-time updates.
"We also provided an update via The Score’s own Twitter feed which reported that Jerry has been taken to hospital and was breathing on his own. Arda and theScore.com’s Aftermath blog also continued to offer updates throughout the following day via Twitter."
During the RAW broadcast, pre-taped segments with Ocal talking about Paul Heyman aired, while the normal updates about live sports games going on around the continent aired, both with highlight packages and on the ticker on the bottom of the screen.
The Score provided ticker updates on Lawler the following day, starting at 6:00 a.m.
The move by The Score followed a mandate by the broadcaster to provide its viewers and followers with information through its multi-stream channels, which include both TV and online media.
"As was the case in this instance, we always strive to provide viewers with the facts as and when they become available through the channels we have available, which includes our ticker, website and social networks," the spokesperson said. "Like viewers at home, we were extremely concerned for Jerry’s well-being and everyone at The Score joins WWE fans from around the world in wishing him a full and speedy recovery."
In August, it was announced that Rogers Communications was purchasing Score Media Inc. The status of the World Wrestling Federation, Inc.'s small ownership position in Score Media Inc. -- believed to be 5% -- has not been made public.
SLAM! Wrestling will continue to provide updates on the condition of Jerry "The King" Lawler as news progresses.