Live From Final Four: Teamcast Model Births Twin Production Compounds
It should come as little surprise that running three simultaneous live shows would produce a significantly larger production footprint.
CBS and Turner Sports have nearly doubled their equipment output over last year’s Final Four and, as a result, were required to lay out two full truck compounds on different levels of the stadium’s grounds, one for the main game production and the other for the Teamcasts and international shows.
“It’s not something we haven’t done before,” says John McCrae, executive director of field operations for CBS Sports. “In a perfect world, it would all be together, but we do what we can here. This is not the worst run, and there’s a good amount of space down here, more than most venues.”
The indoor lower compound is the de facto “main” production compound and houses F&F Productions’ GTX-16 (the main game truck), Turner Sports’ TS1 (which powers each of the on-site studio shows), Bexel’s BBS1 (for technical support), and supporting B units for graphics, stats, and audio.
The outdoor upper compound hosts F&F’s GTX-11 and -12 (ESPN’s international telecast and CBS Sports Network’s studio show), NEP Supershooters 18 (Connecticut and Wisconsin Teamcasts), Game Creek Video’s Patriot (Florida and Kentucky Teamcasts), power generators provided by Filmwerks, and office trailers.
The challenge lay in connecting those two compounds. With all three crews working off the same infrastructure and EVS server, it was critical for them to be wired.
F&F Productions VP of Engineering Bill McKechney helped lead the way by running 49 fiber lines to link the two compounds.
“We’re very excited about being a part of this event again,” says McKechney. “Working with the Turner group as well as CBS, who has been a partner for a long time, has been fantastic.”