Here Are SVG’s Most Read Stories of 2020
Another year is in the books and we’re all more than ready to put 2020 behind us and look ahead to 2021. However, despite a year fraught with challenges and despair, 2020 also featured plenty of inspiring stories and groundbreaking innovation across the sports-production industry. SVG covered many of these productions and storylines over the past 12 months and here is a countdown of our 25 most-read stories of 2020.
SVG’S TOP TEN OF 2020
No. 10 – Live From Daytona 500: Fox Sports Headlines 20th Consecutive Year With FPV Racing Drone, 80-Ft. Strada Crane
Imagine being the host broadcaster for Super Bowl LIV. Now add the task of relaunching football’s newest property, the XFL. To top it off, mix in NASCAR’s storied tradition in Daytona Beach, FL. For Fox Sports, the past 14 days have been a whirlwind, to say the least. In its 20th season at the Daytona 500, the broadcaster is flaunting new technologies in the infield, such as an FPV racing drone and Strada crane, relying on SMT’s data-tracking for virtual applications, and integrating with locations in Charlotte, NC, and Los Angeles.
No. 9 – NHL Returns: League, NBC Sports, Rogers SportsNet Ready Made-for-TV Product as Quest for Stanley Cup Resumes
It has been a big week for “bubbles” in the sports-television world. The NWSL successfully completed its Challenge Cup. The MLS Is Back Tournament is rolling along COVID-free. And the NBA enjoyed a triumphant return on Thursday evening. Now it’s the NHL’s turn. The league returns to action on Saturday with a slate of five “Qualifying Round” games.
No. 8 – NBA Returns: ESPN, Turner, NBA Team Up for Sprawling, COVID-Safe Production at Wide World of Sports
The long wait is over, and the NBA returns to the hardcourt tonight with a Jazz-Pelicans and Clippers-Lakers doubleheader from the league’s bubble at Disney’s Wide World of Sports (WWoS) complex in Orlando. The pair of telecasts on TNT will tip off one of the largest undertakings in NBA broadcast history with the NBA, ESPN, and Turner Sports teaming up to produce not only national telecasts but also world feeds for hundreds of regional-sports-network broadcasts across the country.
No. 7 – Pickleball Mania World Championship Helps Fill Live Sports Void on ESPN3
As sports broadcasters and live-streaming outlets seek to fill the void of live content for fans during the coronavirus pandemic, more fringe sports are finding their way into the mainstream. Exhibit A: Pickleball Mania World Championship, which is streaming today exclusively on ESPN3 beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET. The event, which features four of the world’s top pro pickleball players vying for the Pickleball Mania Crown, is being produced with a skeleton crew at a private residence under strict quarantine.
No. 6 – NFL Draft 2020: ESPN Production, Disney DTCI Technology Teams Tackle Most Unique Draft Production Ever
The NFL Draft is a live production that has never been short on obstacles. Whether it was pulling feeds out of a hotel ballroom in the ’80s to stringing aerial cameras over a sea of rowdy humanity on the Cumberland River Greenway in Downtown Nashville last year, the NFL Draft has always presented ESPN’s staff with brain-bending puzzles that it has thrived on solving. This Draft, though, is something totally different.
No. 5 – NBA Returns: Audio in the Bubble Features Mics From Floor to Ceiling
Describing the audio infrastructure as “the most challenging and complex” ever undertaken for an NBA season, Dave Grundtvig, lead A1 for Turner Sports’ coverage of the league’s compressed and strange season, is still tweaking the games’ sounds over a week into play.
No. 4 – Activision Blizzard Esports Blazes Cloud-Based Remote-Production Trail With Grass Valley’s New GV AMPP Platform
In April 2018, Activision Blizzard Esports knew that its newly minted Overwatch League operation would be moving from centralized tournaments at Blizzard Arena in Burbank, CA, to a home-and-away model in 2020. With that in mind, the broadcast team was on the lookout for a fully cloud-based remote-production system, which did not yet exist, to serve Blizzard Esports’ ultra-customized live-production needs. Enter Grass Valley.
No. 3 – Fox Sports Worked a Live Mirrorless Camera Into an NFL Broadcast — And It Caught Viewers’ Attention
A seemingly modest addition to the camera arsenal for the Sunday-afternoon Seattle-Washington NFL game caught the attention of viewers and sports-video–production professionals alike. In place of a traditional Steadicam, the onsite crew deployed a Sony mirrorless camera (the a7R IV, to be exact) on a Ronin-S handheld gimbal to capture end-zone shots following scoring plays. The shallow depth of field delivered visuals that had never been seen in a live NFL game broadcast — and viewers noticed.
No. 2 – Riot Games Keeps League of Legends Esports Rolling With Fully Cloud-Based Virtualized Workflow
Although the traditional sports world has come to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, many major esports properties are soldiering on, hosting competitions with players competing remotely. In the case of Riot Games, which operates multiple League of Legends regional esports leagues across the globe, this meant creating new cloud-based virtualized live-production workflows that would allow both players and production crew to be located safely at home.
No. 1 – NFL Draft 2020: NFL Media Deploys iPhone Production Kits, Coordinates 600+ Live Feeds To Bring Virtual Draft to Fans
Each year, the NFL Draft production somehow gets even bigger and more complex than the year before. As the grandiose plans for the 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas came together at the beginning of March, NFL Media VP of Production Dave Shaw believed it could be the most challenging operation to date for the league’s media arm. Little did he know that the coronavirus-pandemic lockdown would wipe the slate clean and force his team to come up with a plan to create a virtual workflow for the Draft production that would entail managing hundreds of feeds from players, coaches, GMs, fans, and the commissioner across the country.