2018 AAC Men's Basketball Tournament
Amway Center - Orlando, FL
Here at the BRO Sports™ Network, we intend to bring you some of the best sports coverage on the blockchain! In addition to the quality reporting across the wide spectrum of sports available from BROSPN™ contributors, I will be providing a periodic peek behind the scenes at what it takes to bring these sporting events into your living room, sports bar or wherever you choose to cheer for your team! I recently had the pleasure of working for ESPN to help bring this tournament to the masses on TV.
The ESPN crew I was hired for was responsible for getting the first and second round of the AAC tournament on air, CBS had the rights to the final two rounds. Let's take a look at what it entailed for the production crew to get the games on air for your viewing pleasure. First things first, gotta strap on your credential to get in the building.
After getting through security and making my way to the loading dock, I found our production truck and made contact with the rest of the crew. We arrived the day before the tournament began to get all of the equipment setup and tested in advance of tip-off.
Following a quick meeting of the minds, the crew split off to begin setup. My role for the productions was A2; meaning I'm responsible for setting up, troubleshooting and maintaining all audio-related equipment outside of the production truck while the A1 is busy mixing all of my sources for broadcast. After grabbing my two-way radio for communication with truck personnel it was time to head out to the court to get started.
The first thing my assistants and I work on is constructing the booth setup. This is where our commentators will be working from for the games..they are known as Play-by-Play and Color. PxP is somewhat self-explanatory, they are the commentators that give you the action as it's happening 'play-by-play.' The 'color' analyst is usually a former player/coach who can give insight on the in-game action and strategy.
Without giving away too many trade secrets, you'd be surprised how much it takes to make it into the final product you receive on the other end. You can see me working on one of the net mics here so you can here those swishes and bricks! There were also a bunch of cameras strategically situated throughout the arena to bring you action from all the right angles to make you feel like you're part of the action while watching.
The majority of court-level video/audio sources are connected to a rack like the one pictured here. We just happened to be working with mostly fiber-optic connections for this gig which makes cabling the event a breeze. This prevents having to run 1,000s of feet of copper-lined cable for all of our sources, making cabling the event and connections with the truck a piece of cake.
This is a picture of the connections to our 'booth' rack which includes all of the mics for the announcers, communication party-lines for the stage-manager, statistician, monitor video feeds and more. I know it looks chaotic but there is a method to the madness.
Every connection to this rack sends the needed audio and video signals back to the 'house' patchbays next to our truck.
Let's take a quick look inside our production truck before heading back to the court.
Step inside the production truck
There is a whole crew of people working inside the truck to bring you the polished product you receive on the other end. I won't go into too much detail here but will explain the various position responsibilities as this series progresses. Each position provides a vital link in the production process and will be discussed in detail.
Keep an eye out for part 2 of this look behind the scenes at the American Athletic Conference basketball tournament, brought to you exclusively on the BRO Sports™ Network!
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