WGTD-FM Creates Local Sports Revenue Stream with JVC Cameras, ProHD Studio 4000S Production System

The station began using the new JVC system a few weeks into the 2018 football season, and produced this season’s first game on Aug. 23.

All coverage is streamed to Facebook Live in 720p, with the station rotating game coverage between several venues. For the upcoming football season, the production crew will be located in the press box at each field, with two cameras positioned in the “crow’s nest” outside the press box and the third on the field. The GY-HM250SPs are connected to the Studio 4000S via HD-SDI.

“The cameras are absolutely incredible,” said Troy McDonald, digital director and development specialist for the station. “They are lightweight and easy to use. The picture is so clear – people are impressed.”

In an effort to find a new revenue stream, the station decided to explore new ways to find an audience by covering Kenosha and Walworth County high school football and basketball. With its classical, jazz, and news programming, the radio station attracts an older audience that creates a challenging sales environment.

WGTD tested the idea using iPads as cameras that were wirelessly connected to a master iPad running iOS-based switcher software. The system relied on cellular service, so there were a lot of connectivity issues. “It was just not pretty,” admitted McDonald. “It’s a miracle we generated an audience to prove the concept.”

 

McDonald said the integrated replay system in the Studio 4000S was a huge selling point. A dedicated replay tab offers a preview of every camera, and allows the operator to easily produce slow-motion replays with dynamic camera switching and freeze frame options. “It lets us have that feature that heightens the drama and keeps viewers engaged,” he explained. “The software is so easy to use. It’s made a huge difference for us.”

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With the previous system, football scorekeeping was done manually, and the crew did not even attempt to keep score for basketball. Now, game coverage includes lower-thirds with names and logos. The crew also brings a SportzCast Scorebot to every game, connects it to the scoreboard, and receives automatic scoring updates to the 4000S wirelessly.  “The graphics through the 4000S have added a whole other layer to what we do – and it’s great,” McDonald said.

WGTD covers one game per week during the regular season, plus playoffs. The station also partners with Indian Trail High School in Kenosha, which has a communications program, to coordinate paid student production crews. During the year, students also produce local commercials that run during breaks in the sports coverage. McDonald said the student crews gain valuable experience, while the local student athletes get recruiting footage that looks professional.

The first fully integrated Facebook Live professional camcorder in the industry, the GY-HM250SP includes an integrated 24x dynamic zoom lens with optical image stabilizer, integrated sports graphics, dual XLR audio inputs, and support for a variety of file formats and frame rates. Both the 4000S and the enhanced CONNECTED CAM Studio 6000S, a new six-input model that supports NDI® and SRT streaming protocols, feature include an integrated audio mixer, four layers of DSK, and production switcher with automated switching mode and choice of transitions.

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New research finds sports fans want games on TV but are ready to cut the cord

Grabyo’s 2019 Sports Video Trends Report reveals that over half of global consumers watch sport on a regular basis, with 45% of sports fans watching it more often than anything else.

The report follows on from Grabyo’s 2019 Global Video Trends Report, which surveyed over 9690 people across the UK, United States, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Australia.

Grabyo’s Sports Video Trends Reports explores the video consumption habits and preferences of a segment of 2300 consumers. These are the sports fanatics who watch sports content more often than anything else.

In today’s market,  pay-TV broadcasters hold the rights to the world’s most valuable sports properties. The report confirms that linear rights acquisitions are slowing the rate of cord-cutting among sports fans. Over half of sports fanatics pay for TV services today.

However, the consumer shift to online streaming has not left sports fans behind. Despite showing loyalty to pay-TV providers for live sport, die-hard sports fans watch most often on smartphones (65%) and laptop or desktop computers (53%). TV sets are used most regularly by around 40% of sports fanatics, showing the demand for sports content outside of the mainstream TV viewing schedules.

Almost 25% of sports fans use social media platforms more often than pay-TV to watch video. Just under 1 in 5 of die-hard sports fans visit social media with the intent to watch video every time.

The report defines how changing consumption habits in sport have been shaped by the changes in technology and viewing preferences, behaviors that were shaped in the entertainment industry for TV. The rise of online streaming platforms has changed consumer priorities, shifting demands towards convenience, flexibility and lower prices.

In the sports media market, linear broadcasters have an advantage by committing huge sums to acquire the most valuable media rights, but emerging sports-focused OTT platforms such as DAZN, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV and Kayo Sports are growing in their respective markets and challenging the status quo.

Gareth Capon, Grabyo CEO, comments: “Consumer expectations have changed. Sports fans are looking at other media services available across a range of devices and platforms and see more flexibility than is available in sports. Digital distribution has grown across online platforms and social media and consumers have flocked to these platforms. However, in today’s media rights market, linear broadcasters dominate and sports fans have no choice if they want to watch live sport. Our data suggests that the demand is there and if an online competitor – perhaps Amazon, or YouTube – invest in a meaningful live offering, then consumers will welcome this with open arms and the shift to digital media in sport will accelerate.”

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MEDIAPRO, official VAR provider over the next two years for competitions in Kuwait

MEDIAPRO has been chosen by the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) to provide VAR (video assistant referee) technology at the competitions organized by this federation over the next two years. MEDIAPRO Group’s experience will also allow them to organize a training period for referee staff on how to use this new video assistant referee tool.

With the agreement signed by Sheikh Ahmad, KFA President, and Omar Pleite, the group’s General Director in the Middle East, the Kuwaiti federation has shown its confidence in MEDIAPRO to implement VAR in the VIVA Premier League, the highest level of competitive football in Kuwait, the Kuwaiti Division One, in the second tier, and all other championships organized by the KFA.

With this new agreement, MEDIAPRO Group will be the official provider of VAR technology for official competitions for the leagues in Portugal, Greece, Mexico, Chile, United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Kuwait. It will also be responsible for providing VAR service for some of the most important continental competitions in the world for both clubs and national teams including the Copa Libertadores, the Copa Sudamericana, the Copa América and the Africa Cup of Nations.

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ATEME Trails Watermarking Solution at International Football Event

The proof of concept used BISS-CA, an enhanced, secured standard of the BISS protocol with dynamic rolling keys support for encryption, to help broadcasters in the fight against piracy during a three-day trial at the event. BISS-CA managed the In-Band assets and added forensic watermarking to mark each decoder output so that after transcoding broadcasters could determine the origin of a leak, if it occurred.

“Together with ATEME, we have successfully shown that it is possible to enhance the security of live content during major events using an open, interoperable standard developed by the EBU. This, of course, is an asset for us as it will enable us to protect our client’s live content and ensure that it is only delivered to those who should have access to the content,” said Oscar Teran, Head of Technology & Development.

 

Julien Mandel, Contribution Segment Manager, ATEME added: “We are proud to assist Eurovision Services in demonstrating the protection of video streams delivered as part of international events. As a co-founder and early adopter of BISS-CA, we are expertly placed to propose different watermarking solutions to suit the needs of broadcasters and ensure their content is delivered securely.”

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Emerson College Adopts Broadcast Pix BPswitch Integrated Production Switcher for Sports Production

Installed in late 2018 during winter break, the new BPswitch was used throughout last season when the men’s basketball team won its first NEWMAC championship title.

The BPswitch anchors the control room in the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym, which hosts all home games for men’s and women’s basketball as well as men’s and women’s volleyball. The control room is located a floor above the basketball court, and is designed with a traditional three-row setup. Tim MacArthur, associate director for media technologies and production, said the college is exploring the idea of using the BPswitch-based control room for remote productions of other campus sports as well.

“The big draw for us was getting into BPfusion for graphics and the integration with the Daktronics scoreboard,” explained MacArthur. “The all-in-one device was also very appealing to us. There is a real ease of workflow with Broadcast Pix.”

BPfusion is a software option that works with BPswitch’s integrated NewBlueNTX multi-layer 3D motion graphics CG to streamline the creation of data-intensive graphics for sports, elections, and more. It uses templates to create customized graphics that update automatically using data from scoreboards, RSS feeds, and other IP-based sources without re-keying the data.

“The ease of use of the NewBlueNTX was another big draw,” MacArthur added. “The graphics are a step up from what we’ve done in the past, with easily modified templates that look great.”

All four of the switcher’s outputs are used to populate monitors in the control room, including two large panels in the front of the room and individual monitors for the TD and audio stations. MacArthur said the BPview™ integrated multi-view was customized for sports production, but there is a separate layout for an awards gala that is hosted in the gym every April.

Broadcast Pix Emerson College
Emerson College used its new BPswitch GX integrated production switcher last season to produce live coverage when the men’s basketball team won its first NEWMAC championship title.

While the students do not use the BPswitch’s file-based macros during productions, MacArthur said there is one macro that preps the switcher for production, so there is a consistent look no matter which student is serving as technical director. Coverage is produced in 720p and streamed live to the Emerson Lions YouTube channel.

With very limited funding for the gym’s video production system, students rely on mostly hand-me-down equipment. The new BPswitch, for example, replaced an existing Broadcast Pix Granite™ system that had been donated to the school. MacArthur said it was a seamless upgrade, and the school was able to keep its existing Broadcast Pix control panel.

There are dozens of sports productions throughout the school year, all produced with volunteer student crews. There is also no formal instruction for the BPswitch (or any other video equipment) in the gym’s control room. Instead, student volunteers teach themselves and each other how to use the equipment.

According to MacArthur, typical games have a three-camera setup with play-by-play and color commentators along with instant replay. Some games have as many as six cameras as well as a sideline commentator, but even single camera productions are run through the BPswitch to take advantage of the BPfusion graphics.

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Litepanels Gemini 2×1 LEDs Shine Down on The 2019 World Cup of Pool

The Gemini 2×1 Soft LEDs represent a significant design shift for the tournament’s lighting director, P-R Event Production Ltd., which has relied on florescent lighting for past World Cup of Pool productions.

The 2019 World Cup of Pool brought together two-player teams from 32 countries competing in 9-ball pool for a $250,000 prize. For the 13th year in a row, P-R Event Production Ltd. provided the lighting for Matchroom Multi Sport, which is led by COO Emily Frazer. Matchroom Multi Sport produced the event for broadcast on Sky Sports in the U.K. and additional networks around the world.

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“On previous pool productions, we’ve always relied on large florescent overhead panels to light the table — but they’re heavy, hard to rig, and throw off a lot of heat,” said Paul Toley, owner and lighting director, P-R Event Productions Ltd. “For this year’s World Cup of Pool, we wanted to use fixtures with greater flexibility and functionality. The Gemini has features that are really unheard of with florries; for instance, the dial-in colour mode and special effects like flash and strobe really added excitement during breaks in the action. We were pleased with how well the Litepanels LEDs helped us achieve our desired look.”

For the 2019 World Cup of Pool, Toley and his team rigged an array of 14 Gemini 2×1 Soft LED panels high above the pool table with five lights on each side and four more down the middle, making space to accommodate the overhead camera. The lighting team was able to achieve the required effect by dimming the Geminis to only 30 percent of their total output, which means they will able to achieve the same effect with fewer lights in upcoming pool events.

Litepanels-WorldCupofPool

“Our lighting team was very pleased when our Gemini 2x1s came off another job. Compared to the florries, they weigh almost nothing, and the team was able to rig them in about half the time,” Toley said. “The Geminis bring a fresh and modern look to the lighting setup, and the ability to dial in perfect colour correction is something that’s really unheard of for this type of live sports event. Plus, there was a noticeable temperature reduction in the arena from using the LEDs, something the players especially appreciated.”

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MEDIAPRO, chosen to supply VAR services to two of the biggest Moroccan competitions

0MEDIAPRO has been chosen supplier of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) service by the Royal Moroccan Football Federation. During the next four seasons, MEDIAPRO will provide this service in the two biggest competitions in the African country, the Botola Pro League and the Moroccan Throne Cup.

With this award, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation entrust the MEDIAPRO Group’s wealth of experience to implement VAR in the best national competition in the African continent according to IFFHS ranking.

Mediapro Morocco var

Moroccan football continues its unstoppable growth both in innovation, joining the best championships in the world with the introduction of video arbitration, and in sports with results such as the title won by Wydad Casablanca in the CAF Champions League in 2017 and its national squad’s classification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after 20 years in the desert.

The MEDIAPRO Group is currently the official supplier of VAR technology for official league competitions in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Mexico, Chile and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, it is also responsible for the provision of the video-arbitration service of some of the most important continental competitions in the world, both at the club and national level, with the Copa Libertadores, the Copa Sudamericana, the Copa América and the African Cup.

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