SNY Celebrates New Field With New Graphics, Orad MVP

By Carolyn Braff

When the New York Mets officially move into their new stadium on opening day, SportsNet New York will celebrate the grand opening of Citi Field with a series of production enhancements designed to set this regional sports network (RSN) apart. In addition to a new HD-graphics package and the addition of postgame shows following Mets games not shown on SNY, the RSN will debut Orad’s MVP sports-enhancement system, a series of five game-enhancement features designed to provide postproduction capabilities in real time.

The high-definition graphics and animation package that SNY will roll out this season will help integrate game action with other Mets programming. Its debut is timed for that of Citi Field.

“We waited until 2009 to roll out this new graphics package to coincide with the opening of the Mets’ new home field, Citi Field,” explains Curt Gowdy Jr., SVP of production/executive producer of SNY. “It’s a bold, fresh, vibrant, contemporary look that’s built to last.”

The advertiser-friendly graphics package is created entirely in HD, with no elements requiring upconversion. SNY was consulted throughout the stadium-design process, long before ground was broken in Queens, and the animations incorporate images reminding fans about the inaugural season at Citi Field.

“We have been involved with the Mets in the planning stages for the broadcast side of [the stadium] since early on,” Gowdy explains. “I really applaud Jeff Wilpon and the Mets staff for working on it with us from the broadcasting side. We think that this will be the most dynamic new ballpark that’s out there.”

Despite the economic downturn, SNY is producing more programming — with more graphic enhancements — than ever before. In addition to postgame shows following all 125 games that SNY will air on its network in HD, for the first time this year, the RSN will produce a postgame show after every Mets game, including the 37 games televised this season on WPIX New York, ESPN, or Fox.

“The investments that we’re making in our product have been well thought through and are very valuable to us as we move forward,” Gowdy explains. “We wanted to make sure to give Mets fans this year the opportunity to have a postgame show after every single broadcast, no matter what network the game airs on.”

The most significant investment in the in-game experience SNY made this year was implementing Orad’s MVP System to improve both the visual and analytical aspects of network broadcasts.

“The system has been built to allow our broadcasters to enhance the story of a game with postproduction capabilities in real time,” Gowdy says. “At the same time, we’re creating new sponsorship opportunities, which we will fill, providing us with new revenue streams and potentially boosting rating.”

The MVP System consists of five features, one of which already has sponsorship dollars attached. Cablevision is the named sponsor of Pitch Differential, which illustrates a pitch sequence by zooming in to where a catcher sets up, where the ball was supposed to go, where the pitch ends up, and where the bat makes contact with the ball. Additional components of the MVP system include SNY Magnify (a hyper-zoom feature that can zoom in over an entire play), Flow Motion (allows analysts to dissect a pitcher’s motion or hitter’s swing); and Speed and Distances Trackers (for measuring the speed and distance traveled of any player or thrown, hit, or pitched ball).

“These features are unique to the regional sports business and exclusive to us this year,” Gowdy explains. “To my knowledge, nobody has ever done this in this breadth on a regional sports network.”

Orad Hi-Tec Systems will supply the equipment and operators needed to produce the graphics at Citi Field, in conjunction with SNY’s production team. The MVP System will be used for all home games broadcast on SNY this season.

Opening Day is less than a month away, and SVG is counting down to the first pitch with a look at the regional sports networks responsible for producing games for all 30 Major League Baseball teams. SVG is checking in with each RSN to detail the news and expectations leading up to the 2009 baseball season one conference at a time. For the complete SVG 30 In 30 Index, click here.

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