TNT, NBA Take Suns and Nuggets Game Outdoors
By Andrew Lippe
TNT and the NBA went outdoors last weekend for a preseason game between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA. It marked the second time this year that a professional basketball event has been held on the hard court of a tennis venue rather than that of a basketball arena.
“The biggest challenge here was, the tennis center is not a basketball arena,” says Rich Shapiro, technical manager at Turner Sports. “Most of the basketball arenas we go to are pre-cabled, and we just plug in.”
TNT broadcast the event from the Turner Sports TS1 mobile unit and captured the action using an array of Ikegami HDK-790E cameras. Six Ikegami hard cameras, four handheld cameras, two robotic cameras, and a jib camera were on hand to capture the action. Turner also used five EVS replay machines and placed a Thomson LDK 6200 HD Super SloMo camera at mid court. A helicopter flying overhead also sent back images via an RF transmission link.
Turner parked the mobile unit 500 feet from the tennis garden with a maze of underground cable conduits to transport signals via fiber.
Outdoor games for sports normally played in indoor arenas are continuing to grow. The WNBA played an outdoor game last July at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The NHL, who saw interest in the sport grow tremendously with its outdoor game last January, will have another outdoor game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Suns are expected to return with an outdoor game next year.
“Something new is always good,” adds Shapiro.