SVG College Summit: College Content Creators Share Solutions to Unique Production Challenges

Professionals from Pac-12 Networks, Big Ten Network, Syracuse, Murray State, Stetson University tell their tales from the trenches

Work in live sports production, and you’ll learn to expect the unexpected. From inclement weather to wonky venues, producers of live sports video have tackled some of the wackiest and most challenging obstacles with the belief that the show must go on.

In this panel discussion from the 2019 SVG College Summit, experts in the field of live event production share the unique production tools, workflows, and workarounds that have helped take their productions to the next level (or made sure they happened at all!).

The conversation featured Sarah Backerman, senior director, remote operations, Pac-12 Networks; Bill Friedman, senior coordinating producer, BTN Originals, Big Ten Network; Jonathan Harkey, director, multimedia and production, Murray State University; Jeff Taylor, director, broadcasting, Stetson University; and Tom White, broadcast engineer, Syracuse University.

The panel was moderated by Brandon Costa, program director, SVG College Summit/director of digital, SVG.

Here are some highlights from the discussion:

At this year’s Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas, Pac-12 Networks took its studio show on the road. However, when mother nature didn’t cooperate, bringing high winds outside T-Mobile Arena, production and operations crews had to scramble and come up with a new plan. Backerman shared the story of how they solved the problem:

Rowing and tennis are two of the toughest sports to cover in all of collegiate athletics. White shared how he and his engineering team at Syracuse got creative when it came to covering the action on the water and the court — including drone, POV, and RF cameras:

Video-production teams at mid-major universities are accustomed to making magic with minimal resources. However, some Murray State crews have had to fend off swarms of wasps and scale tall flights of stairs, all for the sake of the broadcast. Harkey shares some of his “war stories”:

It’s not just live-event crews that need to get creative to solve significant production challenges. Friedman shares those he and his BTN crew faced when trying to tell the story of the 2019 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament:

Students play a notable part in college live sports-video productions on all campuses across the country. At Stetson University, how does Taylor keep his students focused in even the toughest circumstances?

Watch the panel conversation in its entirety:

For other video recaps, interviews, and more from the SVG College Summit, visit SVG On Demand and

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