SVG College Summit Draws Packed House to Atlanta for Two Days of Education, Networking, Awards

Participants represent an array of schools, conferences, vendors

The SVG College Summit brought more than 450 college-sports broadcasters, athletic-video producers, technologists, and students representing a wide variety of universities, collegiate conferences, and technology vendors this week at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta. Each year, the SVG College Summit serves as the annual meeting of the minds for college–video-production pros from across the country and, this year, continued that tradition with two days of informative panels and presentations, production-training and career-development workshops, technology exhibits and demonstrations, and plenty of networking opportunities for attendees.

This year’s SVG College Summit Chairman Eric Frey, Assistant AD, ACC Network Operations, Virginia Tech, kicked things off by moderating a State of the Industry panel in which athletic-department video-production leaders from Auburn University, the Big East Conference, The Citadel, and University of West Georgia reflected on the year that was and offered a peek at what they will be working on in the year to come.

Next up was a keynote conversation with veteran director Mark Grant, who was at the front bench for live coverage of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and the National Championship Game for CBS Sports. In doing so, he became the first person of color to direct the television production of a major U.S. sports championship. At the SVG College Summit, Grant reflected on his career and offered advice for directing live sports productions today.

The 15th-annual SVG College Sports Media Awards closed out Day 1, celebrating the very best in college–sports-video content from the past year and hosted by Fox Sports’ John Fanta and the American Athletic Conference’s Morgan Uber.

The two-day event also featured case studies from Clear-Com (featuring Harvard University’s Imry Halevi), LiveU (featuring the Sun Belt Conference), Riedel (featuring speakers from the University of Georgia and MV SportsCom), and TAG Video Systems (featuring Texas A&M University Athletics’ Zack Bacon).

Day 2 of the Summit kicked off with a panel titled “The New Control Room? Production Facilities in the Age of Remote Production and the Cloud.” Centralized control rooms, trailers, even flypacks are the norm across collegiate athletic departments. As the greater broadcast industry increasingly deploys remote (or REMI) production and cloud-based workflows, in what ways are we rethinking the facilities that we call home? From switchers to comms to replay, graphics, audio, and everything in between, live-production leaders from Monmouth University, University of Notre Dame, University of Texas, Diversified, and Riedel Communications shared their respective takes on new flexibilities in live production.

Next up was a discussion on how drones efficiently bring aerial coverage to live game productions. Across all levels of sports broadcasting, live drones deliver unique visuals and provide eye-catching images to integrate into live game coverage. What technologies are needed to make the shot, and, most important, what steps do you need to take to ensure you use drones safely — and legally? Leaders from CNN, Georgia Southern University, and Harvard University took the stage.

Production brass from Princeton University, Texas A&M University, Temple University, Canon, and CTI constituted a panel titled “When Linear Comes Calling: Producing Games for Your Broadcast Partner.” Illustrating how far this industry has come, live-production teams on campus are frequently entrusted by linear-broadcast partners to produce games for their air. How do you prepare differently — if at all — for a linear production? What technologies and services have come up clutch for you? And what other key issues should you consider when this exciting opportunity arises — whether scheduled or unexpected?

The SVG College Pioneer Award celebrates those who have innovated in video production and technology at the university level and advanced the industry at large. This year, Shot Kleen, retired University of Nebraska–Lincoln HuskerVision leader, was selected by a panel of past honorees, current and former SVG College Summit chairmen, SVG staff, and senior members of the SVG College Advisory Committee.

The main-stage program concluded with “What’s New in Game Pres: The Latest in Stadium and Arena Videoboards,” focused on the increasing number of screens popping up on venues across campus. Game-presentation pros from Carolina Panthers/Tepper Sports & Entertainment, University of Georgia, University of Houston, and Ross Video shared how they keep the in-venue experience a top priority.

This year’s SVG College Summit concluded with a pair of breakout tracks focused on large and midsize athletic departments.

More demands from linear partners. Bigger videoboards and larger crowds at venues. Higher expectations. Video-production departments may be well-oiled content machines, but what pain points are holding them back, and what opportunities await? Professionals from Power 5 conference schools Baylor University, North Carolina, and University of South Carolina shared best practices, compared notes, and offered general advice.

In the second breakout session, professionals from mid-major and small conference schools — Charleston Southern University, Ouachita Baptist University, the Patriot League, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga — shared common pain points, best practices, and overall advice.

Other sessions featured Ross Video’s Collegiate Sports Production Training workshop, HBCU Bridge: Sports Career Development workshop, and the SVG College Leadership Academy.

This year’s SVG College Summit was made possible by Title Sponsor Ross Video; MVP Sponsors Canon, CTI, Diversified, PRG, and Riedel; All-Star Sponsors Clear-Com, LiveU, Sony, and Telestream; Ace Sponsors Adder, Allied Broadcast Group, Amagi, B&H, Black Box, Calrec, Creative Dimensions, EditShare, Evertz, Fujifilm, Genius Sports, Grabyo, IHSE, Ikegami, Imagine Communications, Joseph Electronics, JVC, Lawo, Multidyne, Panasonic, Shure, and TAG Video Systems; and Event Sponsors Alpha, BeckTV, Clark, DNA Studios, Grass Valley, Haivision, Magnifi, Spectra Logic, and Telemetrics.

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