HBO Sports Gets Up Close With 4K Zoom at Golovkin-Jacobs PPV Fight
MSG crews come up huge to battle crowded schedule, tough weather
HBO Boxing events have established a reputation for pristine live productions, but, for major events like this Saturday’s pay-per-view boxing match between Gennady Golovkin and Danny Jacobs, it goes to an even greater level. With nearly 160 credentialed staffers and an array of tech enhancements, Saturday promises a big night at Madison Square Garden.
“A big show like this needs to be covered at the highest level,” says Jason Cohen, VP, HBO Sports Production. “It’s a pay-per-view event, and people are sending in lots of money to watch. We need to deliver the level of broadcast that they expect for their money.”
Among the notable tech additions to the production is an aggressive use of 4K camera technology for zoom in the HD show. Traditionally, HBO Sports has placed a 4K-capable camera about 100 ft. from the action. On Saturday, HBO is working with Bexel to supply two Sony HDC-4300 cameras that will run handheld at ringside. That will give HBO 4K zoom from as close as a couple of feet away from the action.
In addition, Fletcher Sports and Sony are teaming up to provide an HDC-4800 camera system and a 360-degree robotic camera system to help with close cuts of the action. Plus, a JitaCam, an impressive 360-degree jib camera erected in the air, is in place to provide unique aerial shots of the boxers entering the arena and crowd shots. On the RF side, AVS will be using wireless receivers affixed to a Sony HXR-MC2500 to provide roaming acquisition in the stands.
On the audio front, Sennheiser has developed a proprietary capture system for HBO Sports that’s unlike anything else used in the U.S., and CAT Entertainment Services is offering a twin-pack generator for UPS.
Battling the Elements
Before any of these tools can be deployed inside Madison Square Garden, HBO Sports must wait for an NHL hockey game to clear out tonight. That means a 24-hour workday for most of the crew working the boxing match Saturday night. Tie that in with the fact that Midtown Manhattan is still digging out from a messy storm this frigid week, and prep leading up to this event hasn’t been easy.
However, Cohen says that MSG staff, which is more than accustomed to flipping between multiple events in a single night, has been more than accommodating.
“We have tremendous fun working at MSG,” he says. “We respect the historic nature of the building, especially when it comes to boxing, and they take tremendous pride in helping us make our show look as good as possible. The relationship we have here with these folks is so valuable.”
Out on the street to support the production are HBO Sports’ regular pairing of trucks: NEP SS17 with its dedicated B unit, TX17. PSSI is providing satellite services.
The event will be directed by Johnathan Evans and produced by Dave Harmon.