The Score tackles virtual sets

The Score, Canada s Home for the Hardcore sports cable channel, recently acquired and implemented FOR-A s digiWarp-EX II virtual studio system to give a boost to its on-air look and feel, marking it the first time the network has ever utilized virtual sets.

All of The Score s 24-hour-a-day sports news and information programming is enhanced with digiWarp-EX II. The Score s sports content is heavily graphic influenced, designed for an 18- to 34-year-old male demographic.

Prior to its acquisition of the digiWarp-EX II system, The Score broadcast programs from a small 20 x 30 converted office space. The network decided it needed to work with virtual set technology that would allow them to design multiple studios with a new look for each show, all within one physical space.

Since implementing digiWarp-EX II last fall, The Score has cut costs and time by not building physical sets. digiWarp-EX II s template-based feature allows The Score to easily drop in as many backgrounds as needed. Once the camera is in position, you just load the template, and the virtual set is up and running, said Kevin Harkins, Director of Technical Operations, The Score. You can set up a whole show with the click of a button. To go from one set to another in a manner of a minute, it s a huge benefit for us. Previously, it could take up to an hour to change-over a hard set. digiWarp-EX II makes live television effortless.

Graphics from the virtual set can flow right into a ticker system that runs continuously along the bottom of the screen on The Score – an effect not possible with a traditional, physical set.

One of the programs using the technology is To the Point, The Score s news interview program where a host questioned two hockey analysts about the return of the NHL season. It was a three-camera shoot completed in 30 minutes with one camera focused on the host, and the other cameras focused on the analysts. It appeared as if the two interviewees were in separate locations, when they were both in the studio the whole time.

Other programs on The Score that utilize digiWarp-EX II include The Score Today, a day-long live sports/news update show; The Score Tonight, an end-of-the-day sports wrap-up show; Sports World, which highlights sports outside of North America; and The Spin, a hardcore hockey show. The Score also carries live Toronto Raptors (NBA) games and university sports, breaking in with live updates from their virtual set.