Turner Sports Crosses International Border for 2019 Eastern Conference Finals

The file-sharing infrastructure introduced in 2017 has a new wrinkle

Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beater may still be bouncing on the rim. When the ball finally tickled the twine and the 76ers were sent home, Turner Sports knew whom the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks would face in the NBA 2019 Eastern Conference Finals on TNT. With megastars in Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo and a series that will traverse 486 miles over an international border, Turner is saddling up for a wild ride in its last NBA production of the season.

“It’s been a great playoff run so far,” says Chris Brown, senior director, technical operations, Turner Sports. “We are looking forward to ending on a high note with an amazing ECF match-up that has Game 6 or 7 potential.”

A Tale of Two Cities: Productions in Milwaukee and Toronto
NEP will house all production and operations teams onsite in both Canada and the U.S. Two production units, Iridium and Chromium, will power the broadcasts; SS22 and SS18 will handle the studio shows.

Inside the new Fiserv Forum in the States and the Scotiabank Arena north of the border, each broadcast of the Eastern Conference Finals will be outfitted with new audio and visual toys.

“We are adding our audio submix to allow wider audio coverage from the floor and, of course, our Inside the NBA studio show,” says Brown. “We have also gone to the Sony HDC-P43 super-slo-mo robotic for the above-the-rim cameras. That and our behind-the-glass cameras will be added to every game.”

These specialty cameras, as well as a large number of other cameras that will be on hand for the entire length of the series, will be equipped with a variety of lenses. More recently, for this year’s postseason, Turner Sports has placed 14×4.3 wide-angle lenses on the robos for a wider field of view. According to Brown, the others will include combinations of the Canon 100X’s and 80X’s lenses.

For the third consecutive year, TNT Overtime has spearheaded the networks’ digital initiative for the NBA Playoffs, and fans will continue to enjoy its effect in every game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Shooting the Geographical Gap: Turner’s Massive File-Sharing Workflow
In an effort kickstarted in 2017, a joint plan allows file sharing by the league, Turner, and ESPN. Although this concept is still in play to send highlights and other pieces of content, there is substantial change in the technological assembly line.

“We will continue our current workflows with the NBA, ESPN, and Turner. The biggest difference-maker for all of us is that we now no longer exchange linear melts between the networks and the NBA,” says Brown. “For the [Eastern] Conference Finals, we are looking at nearly 1.5 times the data that we are sending in melt footage.”

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors tips off tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

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