TSN Covers the Field for 99th Grey Cup
This Sunday, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and BC Lions take the gridiron at BC Place in the Canadian Football League’s 99thGrey Cup. TSN will be providing the extensive, in-depth coverage that fans have come to expect, treating football fans north of the border to more than 20 hours of coverage this weekend alone.
Once again, Canada’s biggest and most prestigious annual sports event will get the championship treatment from the country’s leading sports channel, as TSN covers the Grey Cup from every angle.
Following a week of multiplatform Grey Cup coverage, TSN will kick off game day at 1 p.m. ET and continue until game time at 6 p.m. The championship also will stream live on TSN.ca and TSN Mobile TV. TSN’s online coverage will include exclusive online features and video, as well as news, stats, and analysis.
Getting Fans in the Game All Season Long
The 99thGrey Cup caps a season of unprecedented fan access. TSN brought viewers into the huddle and the locker room with RF and unmanned cameras.
“We have a couple of really skilled guys who were able to get some tremendous pictures just prior to the huddle breaking up and then were able to get off the field on time,” explains Paul Graham, VP/executive producer, live events, TSN. “[We] brought the viewer a lot closer to the game. Having access to the coach’s pregame speeches [and seeing] pictures from the dressing rooms at halftime [was] something I think our viewers really enjoyed.”
TSN, providing exclusive English-language coverage of the CFL’s premier event, will include those elements in its 34-camera complement for the Grey Cup telecast (an additional five cameras will be deployed by RDS, which will be providing the French-language coverage).
For live exterior shots, TSN will position a camera across False Creek in Vancouver with a view of BC Place and will keep a helicopter in the air throughout the game.
“We’ll have two spectacular live exterior shots of BC Place stadium,” says Graham. “It’s a beautiful setting when you can take in the ocean in some shots, the mountains in some shots, and the downtown skyline in some shots. We’re hoping to play those up quite a bit during the course of the weekend.”
Inside the venue, TSN will once again deploy CableCam, a staple of TSN’s Grey Cup coverage. The network was able to take it on a test run on Sept. 30, when TSN covered the BC Lions’ return to their newly renovated home. Because the BC Lions qualified to host the West Final, TSN opted to install CableCam early in order to use the unique angle for last Sunday’s playoff game against the Edmonton Eskimos.
Several cameras will be charged with alternating between game shots and crowd shots. Rounding out the interior coverage, TSN will place two RF cameras on the field and designate six cameras for isolation shots.
“They’ll be iso’d on receivers and different members of the defense, so we’re hopefully covering all the angles of this game,” says Graham. “Obviously, [they] come in handy in a video review situation as well.”
TSN will deploy one truck to cover the Grey Cup and a second for the network’s five-hour pregame show, halftime report, postgame coverage, and all production related to the TSN’s flagship program, SportsCentre. A third truck will be on hand to support RDS’s coverage.
Giving Vanier the Grey Cup Treatment
In addition to Sunday’s Grey Cup telecast and related programming, TSN will provide the championship treatment to the Vanier Cup, Canada’s university football championship, which will be played at BC Place on Friday night.
This year marks the first of a two-year initiative in which the Grey Cup and Vanier Cup will be scheduled in the same city on the same weekend. Having the two championships in one place allows TSN to set up one production complement for two televised events.
“Normally, the Vanier Cup would not receive as much attention technically and from a production perspective,” says Graham. “But, because we’re already set up for the Grey Cup, they’re going to be able to enjoy a lot of our bells and whistles, including CableCam.”
A Game, But So Much More
This Sunday, the BC Lions will have the opportunity to be the first CFL team to win the Grey Cup on home turf since they themselves accomplished the feat in 1994, knocking off Baltimore at BC Place.
However, they’ll find a formidable opponent in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who made quick work of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Final and last captured the Grey Cup at BC Place in 1990.
When the Lions and Blue Bombers meet in the 99thGrey Cup, TSN is prepared to showcase the on-field action and much more to its nationwide audience.
“[BC Place] is certainly a loud building to begin with, and having the home team in the Grey Cup will certainly add to the atmosphere,” says Graham. “The Grey Cup, generally speaking, is quite a party and quite a loud event regardless of who’s playing.
“We look at it not just as a game,” he adds. “It’s an event.”