MLB Postseason Preview: Fox Sports Continues To Showcase Its Super-Slo-Mo, Audio Expertise
More Sony, Inertia Unlimited X-Mo cameras, Q5X AquaMics embedded in the field bolster coverage
Following Cleveland’s 4-0 victory over the New York Yankees in last night’s Game 1 of the American League Division Series, analyst Alex Rodriguez called the Indians the “class of Major League Baseball.” One could likely say the same about Fox Sports’ coverage of the sport as the network enters its 21st MLB Postseason following a pair of Sports Emmy wins.
As has become tradition with Fox Sports’ MLB productions, the focus is on super-slow-motion capabilities and audio enhancements. These are keystones of Fox’s coverage and, in May, helped it land Sports Emmys for both Outstanding Live Sports Special (for the 112th World Series) and Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound (tip of the cap to Senior Audio Engineers Jason Blood, Joe Carpenter, Dan Cochran, and Bob Qua).
“Our goal is to provide the most compelling images and storytelling that we can enhanced with the best audio that you can get, to make viewers feel like they are on the field,” says Brad Cheney, VP, field operations and engineering, Fox Sports. “We want to capture that emotion and power that drives the sound of the stadium, the crowds, so that viewers can understand what that batter is feeling; the emotion of the pitcher. Our goal is to give our viewers the best seat in the house.”
Fox Sports will deploy a Sony HDC-4800, two Inertia Unlimited X-Mo cameras, and a collection of Sony HDC-4300’s as part of its complement of more than 40 cameras.
In upgrades on the audio side, the network has invested in extending the Calrec Hydra network into the ballparks along with a Calrec Brio submix console creating a fully meshed audio system. Fox will be burying more microphones in the field with 14 Q5X mics being laid in the field. In addition, both manned and unmanned Parabs will help cover other areas, such as around home plate.
Throughout the Postseason, Fox will call both NEP’s EN2 home for the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series while Game Creek Video’s Yogi makes its October debut following a successful run at MLB All Star Game in Miami and a strong first year as the main truck for New York Yankees broadcasts on the YES Network.
“We believe we’ve got two of the premiere trucks in the country running our Postseason coverage,” says Cheney.
New Man in the Director’s Chair
Following the passing of MLB director and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer Bill Webb this year, the network enters this Postseason with a new director. Matt Gangl, who directs Minnesota Twins games for Fox Sports North, will be at the front bench alongside producer Pete Macheska.
“It’s definitely going to be different for all of us in the Postseason without Webby,” says Cheney. “He set the standard and set the bar very high. We’re all going to miss him very much.”
Pregame coverage is produced by Bardia Shah-Rais and Jonathan Kaplan and directed by David Faller. Judy Boyd is SVP, Fox Sports Productions. Kent Camera is SVP, Fox Sports Productions.