Overtime Elite Looks to Future Growth With Clark-Designed Production Facility

Broadcast Video System with robust backend enables real-time social-media posts, postgame content creation

Five years ago, Overtime Elite (OTE) set out to create a basketball league to offer an alternative for players who wanted to go from high school directly to the NBA without playing a year of college basketball. The Atlanta-based league’s reputation and legitimacy hit another level last month with the selection of identical twins Amen and Ausar Thompson as the fourth and fifth picks in the NBA Draft.

However, Overtime Elite’s chief goal is not just to attract the best basketball players in the world but to capture the best content in a unique way that engages its massive — and growing — online audience. To capture the content, OTE set out to build a world-class facility, partnering with Atlanta-based systems integrator Clark to make its vision a reality.

 

“When we launched Overtime Elite, we had a very aggressive timeline,” says Matt Montemayor, head of production and technology, OTE. “We built this building, and we were playing basketball within a matter of months. On the production and broadcast side, we worked with Clark hand in hand to make that happen. Throughout the entire process, Clark was an amazing partner, and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

OTE ranks near the top on YouTube with most-watched long-format content and a single piece of content often reaching three-quarters of a million views. Being true to its core, OTE sought to create compelling content capturing the journey of these young athletes, including gameplay, practices, off-court conversations, and the behind-the-scenes moments that its audience expects.

The OTE in-person experience is also crucial to OTE and comprises real-time commentators, in-person entertainment, and of course, great basketball.

Clark designed and integrated a broadcast-video system capable of meeting the requirements of national sports broadcasters, such as ESPN and Amazon Prime Video, with a robust video-ingest backend for capturing camera iso and switcher line cuts for real-time social-media posts and postgame content creation. To facilitate and support a flexible and robust workflow, Clark designed and implemented a solution based on products from Ross Video, Sony Cameras, Defy, Wave Central, Calrec, and Editshare.

“It’s hard to imagine us getting to this point without Clark,” says Matt Fogarty, executive producer, OTE. “Clark can help us get better. We are looking to get better, improve technology, improve how we do things, and that is big value that Clark brings to Overtime.”

The heart of the system is a Ross Ultrix FR5 router with capacity for growth. It provides several multiview outputs and all embedding and de-embedding of audio content. The switcher is a Ross Carbonite Ultra with three full M/Es and four mini M/Es, operated by a Ross Touchdrive TD3S. Providing dynamic graphics generation, a Ross Xpression uses its Datalinq feature to drive real-time game information — score, game clock, shot clock, stats — to a large in-venue LED wall and the on-air broadcast on Amazon Prime Video. Driving the in-venue LED walls, the Ross Xpression Tessera platform provides real-time dynamic interaction between the LED walls and the action on the court.

To capture the content, Clark implemented three Sony 3100 cameras with Fujinon XA55 box lenses and three Sony FX9 for roaming cameras using Wave Central for wireless video transmission. For the commentator booth, two Panasonic UE-150 were installed; for aerial shots, a Defy live cable cam with an EX250 head. In Season 2, OTE deployed a referee camera and the “Vibe Cam” to capture additional in-game action and get sideline interviews when play stopped.

An Editshare media-asset–management system provided eight channels for ingest of a growing file that OTE can edit in real time. It also allows content to be tagged for later use. A Ross Video Mira for replay allowed eight channels of ingest and two channels of playout. The Mira has since been replaced with an Evertz DreamCatcher to meet OTE’s need for expanded capacity.

A Riedel Artist Matrix Intercom system comprises Bolero wireless beltpacks and 1200 Series Smart Panels for end-user interaction. The Calrec Brio handles broadcast audio and IFB control. A key feature of the Riedel platform is the ability for OTE to take the Bolero ecosystem on the road for away games. The Riedel beltpacks are capable of easily switching between the road kit and the in-venue ecosystem.

OTE continues to look for new ways to enhance its product and is even expanding beyond the hardcourt with the launch of Overtime Boxing (OTX), the OT7 7×7 football league, and partnering with Professional Fighters League (PFL). As its content portfolio evolves, so too will the Atlanta production facility — and Clark plans to be involved.

Says Montemayor, “Clark has a wide array of talented people with a range of experience across all areas of production. When you have a question, Clark has an answer.”

 

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