SportsNet New York: Play Ball!

It’s only fitting that the new home of SportsNet NY at 6th Ave. and 51st St. in Manhattan was the former New York studio of CNN. After all, the new network is putting a heavy emphasis on local sports news with newscasts and roundtable discussions that go beyond the typical regional sports network.

“We started work in December, gutting the studio and then building the HD facility,” says Nancy McKenna, SportsNet NY executive director of operations. Diversified Systems, based in Kenilworth, NJ, was responsible for the project that included building two studios and a control room.

“Everything in the studio is HD because it didn’t make sense to not go HD,” says McKenna. Seven Sony HDC950 studio cameras are located in the studios, complemented by a large amount of other Sony gear. A Sony MVS8000A production switcher, four Sony PDW350 HD XDCAM camcorders for field acquisition, 8 PDW1500 XDCAM recorders, six Sony HVRZ1U HDVV camcorders, HDV and HDCAM decks are BVM and LUMA monitors are all found in the plant.

The newscasts and other programs are edited with six Avid Newscutter and four Avid Adrenaline systems. All content is ingested on Avid servers and then put on tape when required. The Newscutter systems handle the packages for the news programs while two of the Adrenalines are used to build network promos and other story packages. An Avid iNews newsroom system is also in use.

“The Avid systems are cranking out news stories around the clock,” says McKenna.

SportsNet NY decided to use a VizRT graphics system to build complex 3D and 2D graphics. “It does a lot more than we dreamed of,” says McKenna. A Chyron Duet Hyper X is used for character generation.

Of course, SportsNet NY is busy outside of the facility as well, with more than 125 new York Mets regular season telecasts on the schedule (the network will also cover college sports and Arena Football League games along with other events). NEP’s SS14 truck used for the game productions. Gear in the new truck includes Grass Valley LDK-6000 and 6200 cameras with Canon lenses, Sony robotic cameras, a Panasonic Varicam camera, and a Grass Valley Kalypso HD production switcher with four Dual Layer Mix Effects banks. An Abekas DVEous dual-twin HD DVE and Chyron HD Hyper LEX and Codi handle graphics while EVS systems are onboard for replays. The audio portion of the truck includes a Sony Oxford Digital Audio console with 48 dual layer faders and Sennheiser HMD-25-1 headsets, MKH-816T and 416T shotgun mics and Sony ECM-55b and 77b lavalier mics.