ESPN Brings Advanced Telestration to Monday Night Football With ChyronHego Paint
Advanced analytics are becoming a bigger part of broadcasts across live sports production. The challenge technologically is to quickly turn around that valuable data as it is collected so that it can be used as a relevant part of the show.
The smart football fan has enjoyed a deeper look at the NFL this season. ESPN’s Monday Night Football production crew is using Paint, an advanced telestration system designed by graphics guru ChyronHego that can track and display everything from the trail of a thrown ball to the speed and path of a breakaway run by a tailback.
“I think, over the last couple of years, the sports fans in particular have become a lot more intelligent about what they are watching,” says Mark Bowden, senior product manager, ChyronHego. “What broadcasts are now able to do is turn stuff around much quicker and tell a much more vivid story for the viewer while it’s still relevant.”
The Paint technology is being used in two locations by ESPN on Monday Night Football. First is in the booth by game analyst Jon Gruden, who uses Paint via a touchscreen alongside play-by-play man Mike Tirico. Second, ESPN tech operators in the production truck use Paint to produce a collection of illustrated replays throughout the game for the director and talent to choose from.
“One of the reasons ESPN went with Paint over others is the turnaround time to air,” says Bowden. “Traditionally, in a soccer game with 45 minutes of solid action, if you can get analysis in while it’s still relevant and it’s still a talking point, the broadcaster will use it more. That’s where [Paint] excels.”
Paint is a sports-production analysis system offering a feature-rich set of tools. It is relatively simple to train on, with ESPN staff running it during the Monday Night Football telecasts and even on-air talent using it onscreen. A highly adjustable user-interface allows the client to adjust the simplicity or complexity of the product.
Paint is also 4K-compatible and can ingest up to three live HD input channels through file-based IP transfer.